Hospital’s unusual postcard dementia campaign hailed as a great success!

Forget-Me-Not Appeal organiser Jayne Chambers with some of the 140 holiday postcards local people have sent in to support patients living with dementia
Forget-Me-Not Appeal organiser Jayne Chambers with some of the 140 holiday postcards local people have sent in to support patients living with dementia

An appeal for people to send holiday postcards to Kettering General Hospital to support patients living with dementia has been a great success.

More than 140 postcards have been sent to the hospital’s Forget-Me-Not dementia garden appeal organiser Jayne Chambers since the appeal was launched on August 1.

The cards help to spark happy conversations with patients living with dementia about happy times in their lives

They will be used in a display close to the dementia garden and in special albums which can be used by staff when chatting with patients.

Jayne said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response to our appeal. People have been so kind and in less than a month we have received more than 140 postcards from all over the UK – and indeed the world.

“We have had them from unusual places like Vancouver, but also many more common holiday destinations such as Mallorca, Corfu, France, Bulgaria – and in the UK places such Cornwall, Scarborough, Skegness, Minehead, Jersey, Clacton, Hunstanton and Sheringham.

“We asked people to send some nice generic messages to our patients – and we have had lots with ‘wish you were here’, comments about the weather and the sea, eating fish and chips and places they have visited.

“People have also said things like ‘hope this brings back some happy memories of holidays from years ago’ and also some messages from children written in crayon such as ‘I am having so much fun – Love Libby’.

“I want to thank everyone who has taken the time and trouble to write us such wonderful cards – please keep them coming.”

Since its launch in March 2017 the Forget-Me-Not Appeal has raised £50,000 and attracted a huge number of supporters including individuals and families touched by dementia and local businesses.

The Appeal is building a dementia-friendly garden in a courtyard adjacent to the Lamport and Twywell wards.

Work started on the garden in October 2017 and now it has block paved walkways, raised flower beds, benches and tables, a huge seaside mural on its walls and work is progressing on a café – to be called The Galley.

There will also be an office for dementia nurse specialists – known as Admiral Nurses – a name which coincidentally fits with the garden’s seaside theme.

Postcards are still gratefully being received and can be sent to ‘KGH Dementia Garden’ c/o Jayne Chambers, Kettering General Hospital, Rothwell Road, Kettering, NN16 8UZ.