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Distraught mum launches appeal fund for oak sculpture

Created on 24/10/2016 @ 19:57
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A distraught parent has launched an appeal to fund a permanent memorial for Welshpool’s cemetery - carved from an ancient oak tree which will be felled on Wednesday. And MyWelshpool is helping to get the appeal underway with a £100 donation.

Jennie Robinson-Harding, whose 10 week-old daughter Poppy was buried in the shade of the oak tree nine years ago, has launched the appeal after realising there was no hope of saving the decaying landmark.

“We only learned of the decision on MyWelshpool and felt something had to be done,” said mother-of-three Jennie. “I have spoken to the contractor, Matthew Owen from Abserva, who has been very helpful and generous and kindly offered to donate the biggest section of the stump possible to enable a fitting sculpture to evolve.

 “We have also talked about help to transport it, along with the possibility of purchasing enough wood to also make benches.
“But, we will still need to raise the funds to ensure we have enough money to pay for the sculptor and positioning so we are looking for support in the form of fund raising ideas and need to involve the whole community, particularly those affected by the removal of this wonderful tree.”

In a strange twist the tree will be felled on the ninth anniversary of Poppy’s death on Wednesday and Jennie has been forced to gain special dispensation from Powys County Council and the contractors to visit her grave on that day.

She now plans to call a public meeting to discuss the idea of a permanent memorial at Maesgwastad Cemetery with everyone involved.

“Everything has happened so quickly and I don’t want people thinking this is all about my family. It is about everyone who has family and friends buried in the cemetery – the whole community. It is important that everyone has the opportunity to become involved.”

To help get the appeal off the ground MyWelshpool is pledging £100 and a further £100 has been promised by Kaye Derwas from Derwas of Welshpool.

MyWelshpool co-founder Graham Breeze said: “The partners at MyWelshpool were deeply touched by this story and we are delighted to be able to donate £100 to help get the fund off to a good start.

“A lasting sculpture created from wood rescued from the famous oak tree would be very appropriate and we encourage the people of the town to help ensure enough money is raised to make this possible.”

Over the weekend an unknown visitor pinned a message to the tree – see photograph.

If you want to donate a Just Giving page has been set up at:

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