Families’ tribute to lost loved ones

Tributes were left to loved one at the "quiet grove" in Monkstown Wood. INNT 24-650con
Tributes were left to loved one at the "quiet grove" in Monkstown Wood. INNT 24-650con
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Eighteen adults, children and young people who are sadly no longer with us were recently remembered by family and friends at a Tribute Fund Service organised by Northern Ireland Hospice in the Woodland Trust’s Monkstown Wood.

This poignant event gave bereaved families and friends the opportunity to celebrate and honour the memory of their precious loved ones.

Those who attended planted a birch tree, placed personalised, handmade butterflies in the wood and viewed their loved one’s plaques on the commemorative benches.

A Tribute Fund is a personal fund set up in a lost loved one’s name.

It is a very positive way of keeping treasured memories alive whilst enabling Northern Ireland Hospice to continue providing specialist care to over 3,000 local adults, children and young people.

For many, it is a source of comfort to donate on special occasions such as a loved one’s birthday or anniversary but how the fund grows is entirely up to each family. When the Tribute Fund reaches £1,000 the family are invited to a remembrance service held in a part of Monkstown Wood solely preserved for Northern Ireland Hospice called “Quiet Grove”.

At this year’s Tribute Fund Service a birch tree was planted by Seamus O’Neill (pictured with Patrick Creeg from the Woodland Trust) whose father, also Seamus, recently passed away at the Hospice.

This tree will grow and develop over centuries to come in remembrance of all those who were being honoured at this year’s service.

Families and friends are welcome to visit this wood at any time and with its woodland, grassland and meandering river in such a tranquil setting it is a perfect place to go, sit on the commemorative benches and reflect on happy times spent with a loved one.

Sharon Gorman, from the Hospice said: “Seamus passionately supported the Hospice by helping at street collections and volunteering in the Coffee Bar in Somerton House.

“Sadly, after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer he was admitted to the Hospice last July where he passed away surrounded by his loving family and amidst nursing staff and volunteers that knew him so well.

“Since his death Seamus’s family have dedicated themselves to fundraising in his memory by setting up a Tribute Fund for him.

“To date they have raised over £8,000. We really appreciate their support as the demand for our specialist service is growing and the need for funding is greater than ever. We hope that it brings them a little comfort to know that Seamus’s legacy lives on through the future care funded by their immense generosity.”

If you would like further information about Tribute Funds, please contact Sharon Gorman on 02890 781836 or e mail Sharon.gorman@nihospice.org