Postcards needed for KGH’s dementia garden

Jayne Chambers is appealing for postcards for KGH's dementia garden
Jayne Chambers is appealing for postcards for KGH's dementia garden

Anyone going on holiday this year can do their bit for dementia patients by sending a postcard to Kettering General Hospital.

Jayne Chambers is the organiser of the hospital’s Forget-Me-Not Appeal to build a dementia-friendly garden in a courtyard adjacent to the Lamport and Twywell wards.

The dementia garden at KGH

The dementia garden at KGH

She is asking people to send postcards from holiday destinations across the world to the ‘KGH Dementia Garden’ c/o Jayne Chambers, Kettering General Hospital, Rothwell Road, Kettering, NN16 8UZ.

Jayne said: “Postcards from holiday destinations spark happy memories for all of us and can be a great way of starting conversations with patients who are living with dementia.

“The theme of the hospital’s new dementia garden – which is now well on the way to being completed – is the seaside.

“So we thought it would a great resource to have a large number of postcards from all over the UK, and indeed the world, where our patients may have been on holiday.

“We are asking people to write a simple message on their card – which could be applicable to just about anybody – and then send it to me care of the hospital.”

Jayne is hoping – if enough cards are forthcoming – to have both a collage display and a postcard albums which can be used by staff to prompt happy conversations with patients.

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.

Jayne’s work to develop the appeal started in 2016 and the appeal itself was launched in March 2017.

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 room – to be called The Galley.

There will also be an office for dementia nurse specialists – known as Admiral Nurses because they are named after the family of Joseph Levy CBE BEM, who founded the charity, and who loved sailing.

If anyone would like to support the new café with kitchen equipment, seating or utensils they can contact Jayne Chambers at Jayne.chambers@kgh.nhs.uk.

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

About 8,000 people are currently living with dementia in Northamptonshire and that number is growing each year.