Work has begun on a dementia-friendly garden at East Surrey Hospital, thanks to generous donations from the local community.
SASH Charity, which raises funds to help patients’ experience at the hospital, is creating the new area, called the Camomile Courtyard.
The aim of the garden is to create a calm outdoor space for people with dementia, as they can find the hospital experience overwhelming. They may be in hospital because they are acutely unwell, or have come in through the emergency department.
Nearly £22,000 has been raised towards the cost of the project through donations, including from church groups, Rotary clubs, local colleges, and individuals.
Lawsons of Redhill, Mitchells of Horley and Squires Garden Centres have all offered support with gardening products.
SASH Charity say that they’re looking forward to opening the garden next month, but a further £38,000 will be needed for everything they’d like to include. The goal is to create a stimulating environment, including the sounds and colours of nature, and features that will help evoke memories and conversation.
Chris O’Connor, consultant Admiral nurse for dementia at East Surrey Hospital, said:
“Our plan is to open the garden on Monday 24 September, which follows World Alzheimer’s Day on 21 September, ready to be used by patients, their families and the nurses and therapists caring for them.
We would love to hear from local people and businesses who can help us reach our target and donate in any way they can towards such a fantastic project.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about the project and how they can help is asked to contact Emily Brown, fundraising manager, at SASH Charity, by email or on 01737 768511 x1295.
There’s also a fundraising page for anyone who wants to donate.
SASH Charity is the local hospital charity supporting East Surrey Hospital and the wider work of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. The charity raises funds over and above NHS provision to enhance patients’ experience.