Violets in Bloom receive £10,000 donation for memorial garden from M6toll

Midland Expressway LTD (MEL), operators of the M6toll, have donated £10,000 to Violets in Bloom charity to help build a memorial garden for parents who have suffered the devastating loss of a child. The garden which is located at Lichfield and District Crematorium in Fradley, officially opened on Wednesday 9th August 2017.

Violet Mornington passed away on July 21, 2013, just seven weeks after falling ill on her fifth birthday with suspected tonsillitis. After back to back tests, specialists eventually diagnosed Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), which leads to white blood cells attacking the body. With support from the local community, Kerry and Ivan Mornington set up the charity ‘Violets in Bloom’ and raised over £75,000 to create a unique memorial garden for family and friends to remember Violet, and to help others cope with the devastation of losing a child.

The children’s garden is thought to be the first memorial of its kind based in a crematorium, and is funded entirely with donations from the community. Violets in Bloom was chosen by the M6toll as their ‘Drive for Charity’ initiative’s winner (2015-16). The awarded £10,000 has been attributed to a play area within the garden, which will include an M6toll plaque on the picnic bench. 

Kerry Mornington said the idea for the garden came from the heart-breaking experience of trying to find the right place to remember Violet. Created by Warwick Taylor Landscapes, the garden incorporates an arched walkway, a small play area and a statue of two children dressed as superheroes designed by Violet’s dad Ivan Mornington.

Ivan said, “We used to call Violet our little superhero - so it seemed fitting to design a statue around that. What child doesn’t like putting on a cape and pretending to have superpowers? Watching the garden come to life has been the most incredible experience, and we’d like to thank all of our sponsors and everyone involved in making it possible. Violet would have loved it.”

Kerry continued, “The past four years have been an emotional rollercoaster but we’re thrilled to have created somewhere families can go to remember children who have been taken too soon.”

James Hodson, director of motorway operations for Midland Expressway said, “Kerry and Ivan are such wonderful people, and they have achieved a huge amount in such tragic circumstances. We were so touched when their story came through to our ‘Drive for Charity’ initiative. We were honoured to be able to award them with the £10,000 donation, and hope that the garden will help many people, for years to come”.

Midland Expressway Ltd will continue to support Violets in Bloom, and have committed to help with the upkeep of the garden. The fundraising for Violets in Bloom has enabled the charity to also provide funding for other grieving parents struggling to fund memorials for their little loved ones. Now that the garden is built, the charity aims to continue supporting families who have lost a child, and assist with the funding of funerals and memorials for those children.

MEL's Social Committee is always on the lookout for local charities and community projects to support.  To register your charity or community project with MEL for consideration to receive fundraising or practical (volunteering) support now or in the future visit www.m6toll.co.uk for further information or telephone 0870 850 6222.

To find out more about Violets in Bloom visit: www.violetsinbloom.org

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