Skegness mum’s petition over future of baby’s grave

Serina Pickering at the graveside of her baby, Brittany. ANL-160926-152956001

Serina Pickering at the graveside of her baby, Brittany. ANL-160926-152956001

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A distraught Skegness mum has vowed to carry on with her petition to be allowed to place flowers and toys on the grave of her baby daughter.

Serina Pickering, 33, says she was devastated when she received a letter from Skegness Town Council asking her to remove items from a ‘forever garden’ she created in St Mary’s churchyard, Winthorpe.

Miss Pickering, of Bader Way, whose daughter Brittany was stillborn, said: “I cried all morning when I got the letter. I’d put flowers, teddies and a little fence on there. I’d paid for the plot and it wasn’t hurting anything. I just think it’s wrong not to be allowed to put things on it.”

Serina, a single mum of four children, said she had been told she would never be able to have a family before getting pregnant at the age of 16. She said: “My world was crushed when she died. I’ve only just been able to afford a headstone and put some artificial flowers, a rosebush and teddies there, with a little fence around it.

“I’ve taken away a plaque and the teddy I bought before Brittany was born when I thought she would be coming home. I’ll be devastated if the other things are removed.”

Already the petition ‘Stop council from m aking us move our things off our graves’ on change.org has around 300 signatures. Among the comments of support, Nicky Watson says: “This is the forever garden for a baby that sadly never got the chance to live in this world – this tiny little spot what they paid good money for... It’s a lovely little garden like many others on there.”

The letter from Steve Larner, clerk to the town council, asked Serina to remove the rose bush and fence ‘at the earliest possible time’.

Mr Larner said: “The cemetery has always been a lawn cemetery and rules relating to what can be placed on the grave have not changed. If a petition is received, the cuncil will consider what it says at that time.”