Design through to launch of a memorial garden

Brief and Objectives

Cheltenham Pet Crematorium (CPC) had converted a facility on an industrial estate into a crematorium. Although sympathetic inside, outside it was a warehouse with patch of grass alongside. CPC asked Holdsworth Associates to create a launch event to raise awareness of its services and communicate effectively to potential customers.

Research, planning and strategy

Pets are important family members and a cremation service provides a time for the owners to grieve and for other pets to understand the loss. CPC provides counselling and support to owners who are able to design their own service.  However if the family want to take the ashes home or to scatter in a favourite place then they need to wait for short time.

HA proposed that a memorial garden was created for owners to use for reflection and also to exercise other pets.  The garden would also provide something for a celebrity to ‘open’ and create the opportunity for a positive experience for invited guests.

Adam Henson, best-known for presenting Countryfile, and interested in dogs and gardening was invited to open the garden. It was decided to have a wildlife element as the site backed on to a nature reserve.

Being located on an industrial estate, the garden strategy would add value to the environment and create a more comforting environment for mourners.

Research revealed that the local Tewkesbury School had horticultural society. HA worked with the school to develop a project that would enable students to talk about bereavement and to use their skills to design and build the remembrance garden.

At the official opening, the pupils would be invited to bring their families and friends to see their work and meet Adam – creating a lovely photo-opportunity for regional media.

Cambridge Pet Crematorium new garden design poster
CPC Adam Henson opens memorial garden

Outcomes

To warm up the media, HA created an initial story about commissioning the pupils to build the garden – this created an opportunity to talk to media and invite them to the opening.

For the launch there was a strong story, photo opportunity, people to interview about how they overcame their loss.   The event attracted broadcast, online and print media.

 

Measurement & Evaluation

The launch of the Memorial and Wildlife Garden was a success, with coverage secured in local media and veterinary publications, including:

  • Cotswold TV
  • Cheltenham Standard
  • Vet Times
  • Vet Surgeon
  • Your Cat

Coverage was also achieved for CPC in the Daily Telegraph.

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