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Singer Tony Hadley to open new Lichfield memorial garden in honour of Violet Mornington

Violet Mornington

Violet Mornington

Singer Tony Hadley is to open a children’s memorial garden in Lichfield to honour a girl who died from a rare blood disorder.

Violet Mornington was just five when she died in July 2013 – just seven weeks after falling ill on her birthday with suspected tonsillitis.

Specialists eventually diagnosed hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), which leads to too many white blood cells attacking the body.

Her family have embarked on a Violets in Bloom fundraising campaign since her death to create a children’s memorial garden in her honour.

Former Spandau Ballet singer Tony heard about Violet through their fundraising efforts and remembered Violet’s singer-songwriter dad Ivan singing ‘Through the Barricades’ in the 2000 final of Stars in their Eyes. He also donated concert tickets for a charity auction in 2015.

The family’s efforts have paid off with more than £75,000 raised and work beginning on the garden in May.

Tony Hadley. Pic: Andrew Hurley

Tony Hadley. Pic: Andrew Hurley

Now Tony has agreed to officially open the memorial garden with his wife Alison Evers and their two children on Wednesday (August 9).

He said: “It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to lose a child so when I heard about Ivan and Kerry’s loss I wanted to help in some small way

“For them to make this happen in the midst of what they are going through is incredible and I’m full of admiration for them. What they’ve achieved with this beautiful superhero garden is the most wonderful tribute to their daughter.”

Kerry, from Fradley near Lichfield, said she and Ivan were thrilled to hear that Tony had agreed to open the garden.

“We were really touched when Tony wrote to us after Violet died,” Kerry said. “To find out he was going to take time out to open the garden for us was just incredible.

“It means the world to us and we really can’t thank him enough.”

The children’s garden at Lichfield and District Crematorium in Fradley is thought to be the first memorial of its kind based entirely on donations from the community.

The new Violets in Bloom garden

The new Violets in Bloom garden

Created by Warwick Taylor Landscapes, it incorporates an arched walkway, a small play area and a statue of two children dressed as superheroes designed by Ivan.

“Seeing people come together to raise funds on our behalf over the past few years has been a truly humbling experience,” Ivan said. “It’s been amazing to see the garden take shape and we’d like to thank all our sponsors and everyone involved in making it possible.

“Violet would have loved it.”

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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