Garden of remembrance opens for staff at Broomfield Hospital

Mick Ferris

A restful garden space with seating for staff to visit, and give them a quiet area to remember colleagues and friends, has been opened at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford.

The impressive garden area took four months to plan and complete and was developed by the head of hospital grounds and gardens, Richard Hughes. It was funded through Mid and South Essex Hospitals Charity with support from NHS Charities Together and the Captain Sir Tom Moore fund.

Susan Malam, Clare Panniker and Richard Hughes

Richard said: “This is an area to remember NHS staff and for all NHS colleagues to visit and feel extremely proud of the work they have done. It’s been a real privilege to help create this garden and bring it to life, celebrating life.”

Clare Panniker, chief executive for Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is a stunning garden and is a real thank you to all our clinical and non-clinical NHS colleagues for their incredible effort over the last year and beyond. It will make a real positive difference to our staff at Broomfield.”

The grounds and gardens team at the hospital identified the perfect area for the new project, linking it to the staff health and well-being area.

The main entrance to the garden welcomes you with a metal arch and the words “Our Heroes 2020”. The garden is also home to two sculptures, which have been specially commissioned by the Serbian sculptor Bojan Krstić, and represents people comforting one other.

The colour theme for the garden is for all-year round scented white flowers with green or grey foliage. Once the hedges have grown, the space will also have a sense of seclusion, privacy and enclosure, making it a garden for contemplation.

Susan Malam, lead chaplain at Broomfield, who blessed the space ahead of its opening, said: “This is a beautiful, peaceful area that offers staff a perfect place for quiet reflection and contemplation. The sense of calm allows for space to remember and peace in which to hold hope.”

Mick Ferris

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