Use of The Garden
When is the garden open?
The garden is open at all times to visitors. We welcome both Angel families and the wider community to come and enjoy the garden year-round. There are several picnic tables available for use and our wonderful Fairy Garden will delight little visitors. We do of course ask that you leave the garden as you find it. Please leave nothing behind and dispose of all rubbish in the bins provided.
Please do not touch, damage or remove any items in the Fairy Garden. We appreciate that children, in particular, will be tempted to touch or even remove fairy houses and the like, and we would ask that you ensure they enjoy the garden respectfully and help them to understand that we do not touch the little houses as they are very special creations made to remember other children that are in heaven.
Are dogs allowed in the garden?
Dogs are welcome in the garden as long as they are kept on a lead at all times and kept away from planted areas that could be dug up and damaged. Please also ensure that all dog waste is bagged and disposed of in the bins provided. Please note that dogs should not be allowed to drink from the fountain as we use a cleaning solution and water dye that could potentially be harmful.
Can I leave flowers, soft toys or other mementoes at the garden?
We respectfully ask that you do not leave any items at the garden including flowers, soft toys, balloons, ribbons, photos, notes and the like. For health and safety reasons, as well as maintaining the aesthetic of the garden, we will remove any items that are left behind and these will, unfortunately, be disposed of.
If however, you would like to create something for our Fairy Garden we welcome all donations, whether bought or handmade. You can, of course, dedicate a fairy house to your loved one. Take a walk through the garden to see the wonderful creations already donated for inspiration. If you have any questions about what to make or how to make something, please do contact us.
Can the garden be hired for private use?
The garden is a place of remembrance, and out of respect, we do not allow any events to be held at the garden that has not been authorised by our Committee.
Should Angel families wish to gather with friends and loved ones at the garden on special occasions, such as the birthday or anniversary of the passing of your loved one, that is of course welcomed. We simply ask that you leave the garden as you find it, leave nothing behind and ensure any rubbish is disposed of in the bins provided.
Can I hold a religious ceremony in the garden?
Unfortunately, we do not allow any religious ceremonies at the garden. We wish to be respectful of and sensitive to all members of our community.
Can I photograph/ video the garden?
We are very proud of the garden and individuals are welcome to take photos or videos of the garden for personal use. If you would like to share your photos on our Facebook page, we would love to see them.
We do not, however, allow any photography at the garden that is intended for commercial use. Neither do we authorise the use of the garden for wedding photography and the like. We would hope that visitors to our garden would be respectful at all times of the fact that it is a place of memorial for children who have been taken from us too soon.
Do you have any security at the garden?
We have CCTV operating in the garden 24 hours a day. Any and all acts of vandalism or disturbance at the garden will be reported to the Police and they will be supplied with CCTV footage.
Management of the Garden
Who manages the running of the garden?
Andrea McConaghy is the founder of the garden and is supported in the running and management of the garden by a committee of volunteers, of which she is chairperson. If you would like to join the team as a volunteer, please email us about current vacancies.
How much does a star cost?
Stars cost £100 and can be paid for via debit or credit card. Should you wish to pay via bank transfer, please contact us.
What can be written on a star?
Stars can contain Christian names only and age in days, months, or years. Unfortunately, we cannot add any additional detail to stars in order that we have a standardised format for all.
Who can have a star?
Stars can be purchased for anyone of any age survived by at least one parent or guardian who have given their consent for the star to be added to the memorial wall. We have a special engraving area dedicated to babies who were born sleeping or who died in utero. You can find out more about these memorials here
Can I choose where my star is placed on the memorial wall?
Purchased stars will be placed on available spaces on the wall in order of completion. Should you purchase stars for more than one child from the same family at the same time, we will ensure that these are placed together.
I don’t have a credit/ debit card, how can I pay for my star?
Should you wish to pay by bank transfer, please contact us
How should I clean my star?
Star owners are responsible for the maintenance of their stars in order to both keep them clean and to protect from weather damage. A soft cloth and a little baby oil can help keep stars shiny. Alternatively, stainless steel cleaner is very effective.
How long will it take for my star to be made and placed on the wall?
Unfortunately, we cannot give a definitive timeframe as we use a third party to make the stars. Typically stars will be mounted within 4 weeks and we will contact you once your star has been hung on the circular wall. Should you not hear from us within 4 weeks from your order date, please contact us with your order details and we will provide you with an update.
Can I remove my star?
Should you wish to remove your star from the wall, please contact us and we will arrange this for you and agree on collection date and time.
Baby Planter Engravings
How much do engravings cost?
Engravings cost £4 per character and can be paid for via debit or credit card. Should you wish to pay via bank transfer, please contact us.
What can be engraved?
You can engrave the name of your child, which can include Christian name/s and surname, along with a date of your choosing – most people choose the date of passing.
Who can have an engraving?
The baby planter is dedicated specifically to babies who passed in utero, or was born sleeping. When we were originally granted the lease for the land to build the garden from the council, it was done so on the basis that we were creating something different to a memorial planned for build by the charity SANDS in Portstewart. Andrea showed that there was a need for a memorial space for those children who were not stillborn or neonatal deaths. We memorialise these children on stars hung on our circular wall. Unfortunately SANDS never did build the memorial they had planned and it was at this point that we decided we would step in and ensure babies born sleeping or in utero would have a memorial space dedicated to them in our garden. The baby planter was officially opened on December 2017.
Engravings require the consent of at least one parent or guardian.
Can I choose where my engraving will be placed on the baby planter?
Purchased engravings will be placed on available spaces on the walls of the planter in order of completion. Should you purchase engravings for more than one child from the same family at the same time, we will ensure that these are placed together.
How long will it take for my engraving to be complete?
Unfortunately, we cannot give a definitive timeframe as we use a third party for engravings. Typically engravings will be done within 4 weeks and we will contact you once this is done. Should you not hear from us within 4 weeks from your order date, please contact us with your order details and we will provide you with an update.
Maintenance of Memorials
Who is responsible for the maintenance of stars, engravings and benches?
Owners are responsible for keeping all memorials clean and weather-proofed as far as possible.
Bench owners should ensure that they are varnished with a weather-proof stain or protectant as needed – we would suggest an annual application for best results. Stainless steel cleaner can be used on plaques to keep them looking clean and new.
Star owners should regularly use a stainless steel cleaner to maintain the look of the star and to help protect from the weather. Baby oil can also be useful in keeping them looking shiny.
If you have bought an engraving on the baby planter, we find that soapy water and a toothbrush work very well to keep the lettering clean.
How can I donate to help maintain the garden?
Donations can be made either as one-off payments or as recurring payments on a weekly or monthly basis. You can change or cancel your donation at any time by sending us an email.
We have listed donation amounts that are regularly given, however, there is no minimum or maximum amount and we are extremely grateful for every penny that we receive.
We have to pay a small commission of 1.4% + 20p on all debit and credit card payments taken and if you would like to include these fees with your donation, please ensure to tick the ‘Include credit card fees’ box.
Currently we only accept donations via credit or debit card to negate the higher costs of using Paypal, however, if you would like to make a bank transfer, please contact us.
For more information and to donate, please click here.
Where does my money go?
From the build stage to subsequent maintenance since opening, we have been financed entirely through the kindness and generosity of local businesses and individuals in the community. We have never received a single penny in grants or other funding and rely entirely on fundraising and donations to meet the following ongoing costs:
- Annual public liability insurance.
- Electricity bills
- Water rates bills
- Accountants fees
- Annual and ad-hoc purchase and planting of flowers, grasses and shrubbery
- Website hosting and maintenance
- Marketing services and materials for events and fundraising
- Ongoing garden maintenance including painting, varnishing and repairs.
- Ad-hoc projects.
All of our committee members and volunteers work entirely for free and one hundred per cent of your donation will go towards meeting the ongoing costs detailed above.
Can I run a fundraiser?
If you would like to run a Fundraising Campaign please contact us for approval and to discuss your ideas.
Can I volunteer my services?
If you are interested in volunteering, we would love to hear from you. Please email us for details of current volunteering opportunities.
Who do I contact with press enquiries?
All press enquiries should be sent by email for the attention of Andrea McConaghy.