Sandelford School in Coleraine opened a memory garden recently.
Attending the event were Paul Clarke (president of Northern Ireland Hospice and goodwill ambassador for UNICEF), Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Mayor Joan Baird, Mrs Joan Christie Lord Lieutenant of Antrim and Chairwoman of Sandelford Board of Governors, along with many local MLAs and supporters of the school.
The garden was constructed in memory of pupils and staff of Sandelford School who have passed away. The purpose is to provide a quiet happy place for both pupils, family and friends to reflect and remember those they loved.
JP Corry were one of the main sponsors of the project and provided much of the building materials required for the construction of the garden.
The evergreen tree which forms the centre piece of the garden was designed by Trevor Martin, instructor of projects at HM Prison Magilligan. It was then constructed by the inmates of Magilligan prison.
Alan Platt, governor of HM Prison Magilligan, said of the project: “Inmates by nature want to tell their stories and really embraced the project from the very beginning, wanting to make their contribution back to society.”
A spokesperson said: “Sandelford school are most grateful for the invaluable contribution from inmates of HM Magilligan.”
Much of the construction of the Evergreen Memory Garden was undertaken by The Vineyard Church, Coleraine as part of their 1000 hours volunteering project.
“Special thanks must be given to The Vineyard congregation for all their hard work, which is much appreciated by Sandelford School,” added a school spokesperson.
A gazebo in the memory garden is dedicated to Jade McAfee, a Sandelford pupil who
sadly passed away in 2015. The funds for the Gazebo were kindly raised by staff and pupils at Bushvalley Primary where Jade’s siblings attend school.