Memory tree planted in Bourne to support meningitis

Stephanie Romaine, Hayley Pateman, Melanie Bould, with bows for the memory tree
Stephanie Romaine, Hayley Pateman, Melanie Bould, with bows for the memory tree

A MOTHER who lost her baby boy to meningitis six years ago has thanked traders in Bourne who organised a memory tree on his behalf.

Hayley Pateman, 43, of Harrington Street, Bourne, was delighted with the lovely idea by her former employer Stephanie Romaine, of Stephanie’s Flowers, in Crown Walk.

Shop owner Stephanie organised the tree in aid of the Meningitis Trust for Hayley’s son Alexander who died from meningococcal septicaemia aged 19 weeks in December 2005. It raised £180.

Meningococcal septicaemia is a type of blood poisoning that is caused by the same type of bacteria that cause the most common form of bacterial meningitis.

Businesses in and around Crown Walk and the Angel Precinct supported the venture which involved the memory tree being put up outside the flower shop during the festive period. Shops sold bows to shoppers for 50p each to put on the Christmas tree in memory of their loved ones.

Abbey Lawn groundskeeper Hayley, who worked at Stephanie’s for about six months from late 2008, was overwhelmed with the support.

She said: “It was a great idea which saw a lot of shops get involved selling bows and people buying the bows to put them on the tree in memory of a loved one they have lost.”

Stephanie, who had the tree donated by one of her wholesalers, said she was pleased to do something to support Hayley’s fundraising for the trust.

She said: “It was great that all the shops nearby got involved too.

“Watching people tie their bows to the tree was quite emotional at times, but it was a lovely way to remember lost loved ones. It is something I will definitely do again this year.”

Hayley and husband Michael, 39, have supported the charity ever since Alexander died and thanks to the donation from money raised by the memory tree - their fundraising total now stands at about £11,000.

Hayley said: “The trust was really good to us when Alexander died. They gave us counselling and support, as well as helping us financially with the cost of the funeral and headstone.

“Ever since then we have held car boot sales and other fundraising events to help raise money for the charity.”