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Grieving parents offered a place to remember in Havant

4 August 2022

Grieving parents offered a place to remember in Havant

A place for bereaved parents to remember their children has been established in Havant and is open to everyone regardless of how much time has passed.

It is hoped that the baby and child memorial at The Oaks Havant Crematorium will give parents a tranquil location to reflect.

The stainless steel memorial installation, known as Little Acorns, mimics the winding trunk of a tree and is covered with 300 bronze coloured acorn shaped leaves.

It is set in the grounds of the crematorium, which is part of the independent co-operative, Southern Co-op, and includes ancient semi-natural woodland and a wildflower meadow.

Sue Mawson​, Crematorium and Natural Burial Ground Team Manager, said: "We have always been aware that the need for a place to remember is important. To have a beautiful tree in such a tranquil location to offer to a family who needs a gentle arm of support is truly a privilege."

When developing the memorial, the team was in regular contact with Portsmouth and Chichester Sands - a charity that works to support anyone affected by the death of a baby.

Emma Hayward, Co-Chair and Befriender of Portsmouth and Chichester Sands, hopes the memorial will give bereaved parents like her and her partner, a place to get comfort.

Emma, from Gosport, lost her baby Annabel four months into her pregnancy. She said: "We have a very small memorial near us and as soon as we found it, it gave us a huge amount of comfort. My partner really needed to see our child's name somewhere. Even now, on a bad day, as soon as I go up there, I feel 100 times better.

"You sadly have families who don't know where their babies went if they were still born. You may have just had them taken away. Others don't get the chance to have a funeral so they don't have anywhere to have a memorial made.

"We get a lot of people who come to Sands that lost their baby 10, 20, 30 years ago. So a place like this is incredibly important.

"The memorial means your child is recognised and there is quite a lot of comfort taken seeing other babies names as you see that you are not alone. A loss is a loss however far along the pregnancy you are."

Free support is also available via Bereavement Care - a service is offered by Southern Co-op to everyone in its local communities regardless of whether they have used its services.

Emma Connors​, Crematorium & Burial Ground Operations Manager, said: "Since joining the team a year ago, it was very clear to me how passionate the colleagues were about having a dedicated children's memorial area within the grounds.

"Every service held at The Oaks is delivered to the highest of standards to provide the best care, support and experience for the bereaved family and friends, and it is also important we provide a tranquil place for them to reflect and remember their loved one."

For more information on Bereavement Care and the help available, visit or call 08081 691922. Or for information on Sands, visit

To find out more about The Oaks Havant Crematorium, visit