How Stevie's memory is spurring parents on in headstone charity bid - The Malvern Observer

How Stevie's memory is spurring parents on in headstone charity bid

Malvern Editorial 21st Nov, 2022   0

AN EMOTIONAL bid to ensure grieving parents are able to have a headstone to remember the loss of a child has been launched by a devoted Worcestershire couple.

Naomi and Barri Graham were inspired to launch Stevie Stones last year following the sudden death of their beloved daughter Stevie who had been fit and well just hours before. Doctors later discovered the three-year-old had been born with an internal herniated bowel.

After working with Stonemasons of Worcester on a headstone which captured Stevie’s character and her love of the outdoors, Barri noticed a number of neighbouring plots where other children were laid to rest had no headstone or even a marker in some circumstances.

Older plots had even overgrown entirely or appeared to be vacant space.




The harrowing truth was the space was not vacant but because grieving parents like the Grahams had likely not had the means to provide for a memorial to their little angel.

Now, following a year of fund-raising and raising awareness, Barri and Naomi are within sight of becoming a registered charity to reach out during a ‘horrendous time’ and offer assistance with the considerable costs of headstones.


“First and foremost, we are trying to fix a big problem,” Barri told the Observer.

“It’s the worst thing any human being can experience I can tell you, but our message to anyone in the situation we found ourselves in is we can help.

“All parents should have the opportunity to have a headstone which captures their thoughts about their lost child.”

 

The year-long effort has also the formation of a support network for parents who themselves saying goodbye to a child – long-term the couple hope to be able to offer bereavement counselling.

Both Barri and Naomi have placed the memory of their daughter at the heart of their efforts and the caring parents are awaiting the arrival of their second daughter next month.

In 2021 Stevie didn’t quite make it to her fourth birthday. Gifts already purchase for Stevie were packaged up and distributed across Worcester so other children might enjoy them.

It proved to be such a success the feat was repeated again this year, with support from ambassadors of Stevie Stones.

A litter pick at Worcester Woods County Park to help maintain one of Stevie’s favourite places has also become part of their calendar with support from Little Lodge Nursery, Stevie’s former nursery.

Visit www.gofundme.com/f/stevie-steps-launching-her-charity for the fund-raising page or steviestones.co.uk for more on the charity.

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