Ahead of International Missing Children’s Day at the end of May, Missing People have unveiled a commemorative flower garden at London’s Chiswick House & Gardens to raise awareness of the 80,000 children who go missing in the UK every year.
The Find Every Child garden has been designed by charity volunteer Esra Parr, a Gold medal winner at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.
The Garden was unveiled today with a performance by the charity’s Missing People Choir, made up of people who have missing loved ones, alongside staff and supporters of the charity.
Garden Designer Esra Parr says, “The Find Every Child flower garden has been designed as a place of calm where people can remember their loved ones. The design is an abstract of the circular symbol for The Flower of Life, and the plants and colours have been chosen according to their meaning in various cultures. Some have an appropriate common name others have a meaningful variety name.”
Missing People Choir member Sarah Godwin from Godalming, Surrey, whose son Quentin has been missing since May 1992, said, “When you have a missing child it is so hard to find any moments of peace, or places where you can honour and think about them. The Find Every Child garden is a wonderful way to provide families like mine with a place to remember, while raising awareness of how and why the issue of missing children is so big.
Jo Youle, Chief Executive of Missing People said: “We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who has come together to make the Find Every Child garden possible and support our Find Every Child appeal. The designers have produced a beautiful and peaceful space where families experiencing the pain of a missing child can come to reflect and remember and be reassured that there are others who are thinking of their missing loved one too.”
Clare O’Brien Director of Chiswick House & Gardens Trust said, “We hope the missing people garden will be a place of refuge and solace for families and we welcome this beautiful addition to our Grade 1 listed landscape.”
The garden has been made possible thanks to support from Chiswick House & Gardens Trust and Gavin Jones landscape management services.