Thame Youth Memorial garden opens

The new memorial garden. Photo: Nick White
The new memorial garden. Photo: Nick White

The head of Thame Youth Memorial expressed his ‘pride’ as the trust’s new garden was officially opened.

The £46,000 garden, the result of four years of planning, is for people affected by the loss of a young person and is next to Thame’s War Memorial Gardens and Pearce Memorial.

It includes a water feature surrounded by benches, the names of young people from the area who have died and a sculpture.

Trust chairman Peter Butt said: “Representing the trust today is both an honour and a hardship as we strive to deliver a fitting memorial to those we lose too young.

“A hardship, only because the reason for the garden existing is so sad, so full of emotion, that finding the right words to do justice to the project has been difficult.

“Sitting on the benches looking through the water feature to the sculpture, I feel great pride. Pride, that our community has come together, not only to raise the funds to carry out this project but to actively take part in its creation.”

Around £40,000 of the money used to pay for the garden has been raised through fundraising, with the remainder being made up by a loan from Thame Town Council.

The Mayor of Thame, Councillor Peter Lambert, officially opened the memorial and said he felt ‘very humbled’ to be there.

There was also entertainment and song at the opening and dozens of balloons were released into the sky.

The town’s MP, John Howell, could not be at the ceremony but described the project as ‘visionary’.

Mr Howell said: “It is an excellent reminder of the contribution made by young people to our civic life and the important role they play in our community.

“I salute all those who have worked so tirelessly to make this memorial happen and I hope it will shine like the true beacon it is on behalf of the young people of the town.”

Money still needs to be raised to pay off the loan to Thame Town Council.

Anyone wishing to donate can text TYMM03 £2 to 70070 or go to the Thame Youth Memorial website.