Business offers touching gift for damaged grave of Harrogate baby

A mother who was left devastated when her baby's grave was damaged has now expressed her thanks, after a local memorial service offered to supply a new gravestone.

Thursday, 6th July 2017, 11:54 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:32 am
Emma Brothwood with her baby son Ruben sit next to Evelyns little garden in Stonefall. Picture: Adrian Murray

Emma Brothwood took to social media to express her anger and upset after her daughter Evelyn’s grave was left damaged by staff at Stonefall Cemetery, Harrogate.

Unable to afford the cost of an expensive gravestone, Emma, her partner Leon Browning, and their baby son Ruben, set up a miniature garden in Evelyn’s memory instead.

She said: “Harrogate Hospital actually funded the funeral for us, they do it for all of the stillborn babies.

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“Even now I still struggle to talk about it properly.”

Emma said she was ‘disgusted’, when she found the garden damaged after staff had moved it to get to another grave.

Cemetery staff have now agreed that the garden can be kept as long as it is maintained and not made any larger.

Emma said: “I thought we were going to have to get rid of the garden and have nothing until we got the gravestone.”

But family-run business, Abbotts Memorial Service in Knaresborough saw Emma’s post on social media and offered to help.

The business has agreed to cover the cost of a white marble gravestone, exactly the type that Emma and Leon wanted.

Tracey Plews, at Abbotts Memorial Service, said: “I think being in this sort of job you do come across lots of sad stories, but Emma’s story just seemed to touch us. My daughter Olivia read it out to us and I said to my husband we should really help.”

Emma said: “I just want to say thank you to Abbotts because they didn’t have to do this, they haven’t got any other motive it’s just kindness.

Coun Zoe Metcalfe, Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “We do our utmost to ensure that burial plots are treated with dignity and respect and I would like to apologise for any distress that has been caused.

“Having spoken to the family, we understand that the fencing was not replaced correctly and we have apologised for this.”