As part of their annual countdown to International Missing Children’s Day at the end of May, the charity Missing People have unveiled a commemorative flower garden at London’s Chiswick House & Gardens on 2 May, to raise awareness of the 140,000 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 charity’s Missing People Choir, made up of people who have missing loved ones, alongside staff and supporters of the charity, performed on the day. The choir were most recently seen auditioning in front of the judges on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent 2017.
The garden has been made possible thanks to support from the volunteers at Chiswick House & Gardens Trust and Gavin Jones landscape management services.
Garden designer Esra Parr said: “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 the charity 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 added: “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 unveiled as part of the charity’s FIND EVERY CHILD Appeal which is aiming to raise funds for enable Missing People to reach out to the 140,000 children who go missing in the UK every year.