GRIEVING families can pay a poignant tribute to their loved ones after Ardgowan Hospice unveiled a new memory tree sculpture.

The bespoke wall mounted piece has been installed in the drop-in room within the hospice's Access building.

It features gold leaves which can be purchased in aid of the hospice and inscribed with a tribute in memory of a loved one.

Once created, each leaf will stay on the tree for one year.

After this time, donors will be offered the chance to renew their dedication for another year or have the leaf presented to them for personal display.

Hospice chief executive Linda McEnhill says the memory tree is a unique way for people to remember their loved ones and at the same time support the charity.

She said: "This gives people the opportunity to both remember their loved ones who have died as well as helping the hospice.

"I have purchased two leaves in memory of my father and my little brother.

"Although neither of them died here, this offers a tangible place where I can just go and remember them.

"The memory tree is a dream come true for us as we have been thinking about this for the past two years, so it's amazing to see it."

After the leaf is engraved and carefully affixed to the tree, donors are invited to drop-in whenever they’re passing.

Whether they want to sit with a hot drink, or just take a quiet moment out of their day to pause and reflect on all the lovely memories shared with their loved one, they will be made to feel very welcome.

Linda Kelly, head of corporate development at the hospice, is keen to emphasise the memory tree is for anyone who has lost a loved one whether they have a special connection to the hospice or not.

She said: "We’re glad to be able to create a peaceful, safe space that allows bereaved people near and far to be able to pay tribute to those they have loved and lost.

"Each leaf is packed full of special memories and experiences, and they will also let other families create their own memories and experiences when someone they love has a life-limiting illness.

"We hope our tree can help bring comfort to bereaved people in Ardgowan’s local community."

Artist Claudia Ashley-Brown, who created the sculpture, says she was honoured to unveil the design.

She said: "Being able to help Ardgowan Hospice to fundraise and help people remember and celebrate lives and loved ones in a beautiful way, especially as I lost my mother in my local hospice last year, is definitely a win-win."

To dedicate a leaf on the tree, people can choose three options - a white gold leaf for one year for £120 (or £10 a month by direct debit), a rose gold leaf for one year for £180 (£15 a month by direct debit) or a yellow gold leaf for one year for £240 (£20 a month by direct debit).

Leaves can be purchased by visiting or calling the hospice’s fundraising team on 726830.