KGH dementia garden appeal tops £10,000

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A Kettering General Hospital Appeal to develop a dementia garden at the hospital has topped £10,000 after only two months.

The KGH Forget-Me-Not Appeal aims to raise about £150,000 to transform a courtyard adjacent to the Lamport and Twywell wards into a dementia-friendly garden where patients can safely be active.

KGH has been delighted by the way that local businesses and individuals have supported the appeal which was launched at the beginning of March.

Appeal organiser Jayne Chambers said: “The response to our call-to-arms to support dementia care has been fantastic.

“I have received offers of support from a number of local businesses and individuals who want to help us to improve the wellbeing of patients in hospital who are living with dementia.

“There have already been a number of successful local fundraising events and some heart-warming offers of help and support.

“We want to thank everyone very much for their incredible support which is starting to turn our dream of a dementia-friendly garden into a reality.”

Since the launch events which have supported the appeal have included:

Three community craft fairs held at the hospital which together raised £2,100

The Teamwork Trust charity raised more than £800 at two events – an afternoon tea and charity auction held in Corby and a wild west event held in Kettering

The KGH Trust Timewarpers annual pantomime group donated £1,500 following their performances last year

The theatrical community group Theats raised £1,318 at a murder mystery event held at KGH on April 6 to 8

Three KGH staff – Jayne Chambers, Angie Robinson and her daughter Emma – raised £1,200 by doing a tandem sky dive from Hinton Airfield on April 22

An individual donation of £1,000

Preparation work for the garden so far has included:

Design work by local garden designer Robin Ideson of Robin Ideson Design of Creaton

KenSigns of Kettering have given the appeal a banner to help promote itself at events and have agreed to design and install a mural in the completed garden

The appeal has five events planned over the next six months. They include:

May 7 – Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative which makes a donation to local charities according to how many of their customers vote for that charitable cause using a blue coin they are issued at check out.

May 18 – The Colours Fashion Show held at KGH’s The Hall@KGH (recreation hall next to car park B) 7pm for 7.30pm - £10 a ticket from Maxine Andrews at KGH on 01536 491569.

May 19 – Night of Mediumship with Tracy Bayes at KGH’s The Hall@KGH – tickets £10 from Ticketsource and search for medium in Kettering

July 8 – Songbirds at All Saints Church, Kettering, 8pm.

October 5 – The Black Tie Event at Kettering Park Hotel £35 per ticket includes three-course meal, live entertainment, silent auction,and photobooth – 7pm for 7.30pm.

Available from Jayne Chambers.

A Dementia Unit with an adjoining garden would be a first in Northamptonshire and one of only a few in Britain in an acute hospital setting.

The aim is to create a courtyard garden area with flowers, activity stations and a seaside theme that it is a safe and stimulating place for dementia patients – and their families – to spend time while they are in hospital.

At the moment the courtyard area between Lamport and Twywell Wards – built in 1932 – is made up of unattractive concrete paving slabs and gravel with a single bench and table.

In the first phase of the community appeal the hospital aims to transform the courtyard area into walk-in garden.

In the second stage of the appeal the hospital aims to transform the ward areas themselves to make them more dementia-friendly.

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