New place of remembrance

Text Jasmin Boesch
Photos Regine Sixt Children's Aid Foundation
The Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice offers specialized care for children with life-threatening and debilitating diseases. Every year, around 230 children and over 70 bereaved families receive care here. The majority of the treatment is carried out on an outpatient basis at the children’s home by a team of nurses, while the Horizon House children’s hospice can offer more comprehensive care if needed. The institution’s main goal is to improve the quality of life for children with incurable illnesses. In particular, this includes treating their symptoms and freeing them from pain, and accompanying children until they pass away and supporting their families.


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The “Quiet Garden” has been an important component of Horizon House for the last 17 years. Until recently, the name of every deceased child was carved in stone and placed in an especially visible part of the garden on “Forget-Me-Not” day. It was used as a place of commemoration where bereaved siblings, parents, and friends could remember the deceased child. Unfortunately, the garden has become so dilapidated that it presents a considerable safety hazard for visitors and had to be closed.


David McCulla, a SIXT franchise holder from Northern Ireland, became aware of the situation and spontaneously launched a fundraising initiative to collect funds to renovate and restore the garden. He gathered a hefty sum in no time, but this could only cover a portion of the work. In order to ensure that this important project could be realized, the Regine Sixt Children’s Aid Foundation Drying Little Tears provided the remaining amount. The new “Memory Garden” was constructed in the place where the “Quiet Garden” once stood. The conversion not only ensured a childfriendly design, but was also adapted to the needs of the disabled.

“It is personally important to me to do my utmost to make life easier for children whose time on Earth is limited. I particularly liked the idea of a special garden as a place of remembrance, but also as a place of tranquility and change of scenery for the children in the hospice. It fills my heart with joy to know that the little ones at the Horizon House will soon be able to use the garden again”, says Regine Sixt.

In active cooperation with the SIXT corporate and franchise countries, the Regine Sixt Children’s Aid Foundation has been able to support over 200 projects in more than 50 countries around the world in recent years.


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