885. Andrea McAleese
Andrea McAleese, from County Londonderry, created the first memorial garden in Northern Ireland to support parents that are grieving the loss of a child.
Five years after the tragic death of Andrea’s three year old daughter Roma following a car accident, Andrea decided to give
something back to the community. Realising that local people struggling with bereavement needed a peaceful place to visit and remember loved ones, Andrea lobbied with the council for land to build a memorial. After fundraising £82,000, the ‘Angel of Hope Memorial Garden’ was built and opened in 2015. Andrea continually maintains the garden, and recently unveiled a new special plaque in the garden, dedicated to stillborn babies and neonatal deaths.
In a personal letter to Andrea, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“By creating the ‘Angel of Hope Memorial Garden’ in memory of your daughter Roma, you have responded to a personal tragedy with tremendous strength. The garden, the first of its kind in Northern Ireland, is bringing comfort to those struggling with bereavement by providing a peaceful sanctuary to reflect and remember loved ones.”
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