Michelle chose to sponsor a Celebration Tree as a positive and lasting way to remember her late mother.
Here she tells us why she chose to get involved in the Croydon Celebration Tree scheme in her own words:
Our Mum, Valerie, died aged just 57, in the year of the new millennium, 2000. Everyone was celebrating the New Year, and new beginnings but for us as a family it was a year of great sadness.
To begin with we sponsored a rose at the crematorium in memory of mum's life, and that continued for 21 years. No one ever went to visit it though, it was a place that only ever represented death.
During the summer of 2021 I noticed an advert for the Trees for Streets Scheme - it was coming to Croydon and would allow you to sponsor a tree to be planted in your street, or a local park.
When I saw that Lloyd Park was one of the local parks included in the Celebration Tree scheme, I knew that it was the perfect location for our Celebration Tree to be planted, so I signed up for the scheme.
Lloyd Park has been our local park for many years, when we were children Mum would take myself and my brother Stuart there to play. It is still my local park, it's within easy walking distance and is a place where there is always something 'happening'.
Now my family and I use Lloyd Park as a place to cycle, somewhere to meet friends, a place to walk - it's really VERY big, there's a great playground for the children, a lovely cafe open all hours, and even a frisbee golf course - it's a great space and not what many people expect of Croydon.
This tree will provide future shade for the many users of the park, be they people or bugs and bees.
It's fitting that something put in the ground in memory of a loved one will now really be part of the local community and oversee all the 'happenings' in Lloyd Park for decades to come.
A fitting memorial, and witness to the future... I hope others will do the same and make this small investment in the long term future of their communities.
Croydon Council planted an oak tree in Lloyd Park this winter in memory of Valerie.
We hope local residents including Michelle and her family enjoy it for many years.