Memorial tree installed at Dunollie for families who have lost a baby

A tree of tranquility was unveiled at Dunollie Castle Museum and Grounds. 17_T25_Butterflyrelease09

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A tree of tranquility was unveiled at Dunollie Museum Castle and Grounds on Friday night for families to remember babies they have lost.

The memorial tree aims to provide comfort for both the newly bereaved and for those who may have lost their baby many years ago. Families can add an engraved leaf with the baby’s name onto the tree.

It was installed by the charity SiMBA, which supports anyone who has endured the loss of a baby during pregnancy or close to the time of birth.

Oban’s tree of tranquility was officially unveiled by Chais and Niamh Simpson, who lost a sibling. Their mum, Susan, is the highland ambassador for SiMBA.

The ribbon cutting was followed by the charity’s annual butterfly release.

Sara Fitzsimmons, MBE, RM, SiMBA CEO, said: ‘I am very proud to unveil the SiMBA Oban Tree of Tranquility in Dunollie Museum Castle and Grounds.

‘The tree of tranquility is not just for the newly bereaved but also for families who sadly lost their baby many years ago and were perhaps provided with little or no recognition of their baby’s existence.

‘The 23 leaves that we have already today onto the Oban Tree of Tranquility show just how important this beautiful memorial is for the local community.

‘When a baby dies there is a huge feeling of isolation; our handcrafted Trees of Tranquility show families that they are not alone and our Butterfly Releases encourage families to come together in a gentle event, knowing that they are surrounded by others who understand.

‘SiMBA is here to offer on-going support to our families and I would encourage anyone affected by the loss of a baby to visit our website for full details of our support services.’

Sara highlighted the work that Susan Simpson, SIMBA’s highland ambassador has done driving the project forward.

She also commended the pathway pupils, who helped transform the area from a ‘jungle’ to a tidy garden.

Sara said that the team at Dunollie have also supported the project massively and thanked the Oban Sea Cadets, who helped on the night.

A number of poems were recited by various people in the community during the ceremony, including Susan and deputy provost for Argyll and Bute Council Roddy McCuish.

All the poems were written by parents who have endured the loss of a child.

Speaking before reading a poem she had written, Susan said: ‘We do know what a comfort this tree will be to so many. This will last through the generations and honour the babies you could not watch grow up.’

Councillor Roddy McCuish said he hoped the tree would offer comfort and said: ‘I can only imagine the pain some of you must be going through. The continued support for this project will go on.’