Work to start on KGH dementia garden next week

General manager of Kettering General Hospitals Costa Coffee branch Tracy Gilmartin, and supervisor, Erik Fibi, present a �500 donation to KGH Forget-Me- Not Appeal organiser Jayne Chambers
General manager of Kettering General Hospitals Costa Coffee branch Tracy Gilmartin, and supervisor, Erik Fibi, present a �500 donation to KGH Forget-Me- Not Appeal organiser Jayne Chambers

Work is due to start on the first stage of Kettering General Hospital’s new dementia garden next week.

In March this year the hospital launched a Forget-Me-Not Appeal to transform a courtyard adjacent to the Lamport and Twywell wards into a dementia-friendly garden where patients can safely be active.

KGH Forget-Me- Not Appeal organiser Jayne Chambers with Julie Cochrane and her cheque for �1,685 in the courtyard where the garden will be established

KGH Forget-Me- Not Appeal organiser Jayne Chambers with Julie Cochrane and her cheque for �1,685 in the courtyard where the garden will be established

By August the appeal had topped the £20,000 mark and also attracted a huge number of supporters including individuals and families touched by dementia and local businesses.

Significant practical support in creating the garden has been offered by a civil engineering company, garden centre and several other businesses.

KGH Forget-Me-Not Appeal organiser Jayne Chambers said: “The fantastic support that we have received so far means that we are able to start some of the demolition and ground works associated with creating the garden – only six months on from launching the appeal.

“This will involve demolishing two wooden framed offices that overlook the courtyard and removing its concrete paving.

“The hospital’s own estates and IT team have already been busy removing existing electrical, heat and water connections from these buildings.”

The demolition work – which will start on Monday and take about a week – is being undertaken by the civil engineering company PJ Carey of Milton Keynes – which has pledged to support the project with some of the key works and project management.

In the past two weeks the appeal has received almost £3,000 in public support bringing its fundraising total up to £27,500.

Recent donations have included:

£500 from the KGH branch of Costa Coffee. General Manager Tracy Gilmartin agreed to support the appeal because it is a local charity associated with the Compass Group’s overall charitable aims which are supporting the Alzheimer’s Society and Cancer Research.

£900 from a Medium Night hosted by Tracy Bayes - held at KGH on September 29

£1,566 from Julie Cochrane who works for Northamptonshire County Council as a care manager at Kettering General Hospital.

Julie, from Corby, raised the money by doing a sponsored Sprint Triathlon (400m swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run) at Market Harborough Leisure Centre on September 3.

She said: “I work at Kettering General Hospital and see patients living with dementia on a daily basis and I feel that the garden will improve their experience of being in hospital and offer them stimulation in what can be a traumatic time.

“I also lost my gran to dementia in 2012 which was another reason for wanting to support the Appeal.

“Most importantly to me though was raising money in memory of my beautiful mum, Jackie Burrough, who died unexpectedly on May 28.

“My mum was a nurse and started her nursing career at KGH and the garden will be situated outside the wards where she worked so I thought it fitting to raise some money for the appeal in her memory.

“Mum would have thought this was appropriate because she was passionate about helping people – and that extended to being an organ donor when she died.”

To help support the appeal contact Jayne Chambers at Jayne.chambers@kgh.nhs.uk.

Donations can be made to the Kettering General Hospital Charity Fund (Forget-Me-Not Appeal) on 01536 491569.