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‘Memorial garden’ dream still alive for Newham father

PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 September 2012

Jason Pearson at the site where he wants a garden to remember victims of gun & knife crime

Jason Pearson at the site where he wants a garden to remember victims of gun & knife crime

Archant

A council community safety officer has been knocked back in a bid to create a memorial garden dedicated to young people killed in Newham.

Father-of-two Jason Pearson lobbied Town Hall officials in the hope of getting his Imagine Garden included in the Plashet Park masterplan.

He even received a reply from Yoko Ono, John Lennon’s widow, after writing to her to gain permission to use the name. As a youngster, he remembered being shocked by the Beatles star’s assassination.

But Newham Council last week explained that its masterplan has already been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund,

and the Imagine Garden does not figure in its plans.

He said: “I saw something about people going into schools wearing colostomy bags at just 16, and I decided that I didn’t want to keep reading about it.

“I just want something positive to come out of these tragedies.

“I have tried to get in touch with the victims families but its been quite difficult. I do want to meet with them and go through my plans.”

Mr Pearson will continue to press on with a search for private land for the garden, and has received an encouraging reply from Deutsche Bank over a possible grant.

With a nod to the September 11 memorial in New York, Mr Pearson wants to install marble plaques with photographs of his victims.

He added: “I still think that The Imagine Garden idea is worth creating and could benefit the residents of Newham.”


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