Published on: 30 August 2023

P8300175.jpgA special tree sculpture has today (Wednesday 30th August 2023) been unveiled at George Eliot Hospital to recognise the donations that helped in the creation of the hospital’s special Serenity Garden.

The large sculpture has leaves on which the names of the donors who contributed to the development and building of the garden are engraved.

The Serenity Garden was opened at the hospital in 2022 as a specialist stroke and dementia rehabilitation space, enabling patients to experience real-world challenges in a safe and controlled environment under the supervision of trained therapists and nursing staff before being discharged.

Speaking at the unveiling, which was attended by donors and dignitaries, Dr Catherine Free, Managing Director of George Eliot Hospital said: “It is amazing to be able to have a permanent recognition of the important contribution the donors have made to the care we are able to provide for our patients.

“On behalf of the hospital, I’d like to thank everyone who made this possible, the donors, colleagues, the patient forum, and George Eliot Hospital Charity who all worked together to build this space.

“We are delighted with this garden which is a testament to the passion our staff have for patient care and displays all the values we have at George Eliot.

“The effects of stroke and dementia are often profound with long-term physical, psychological and social implications. Some patients can require inpatient hospital care which can be a disorientating and upsetting experience.

“The Serenity Garden has been purpose-built to help make our patients' journey home as easy as possible. The garden will allow patients, supported by or staff, to increase their confidence, become more independent and recover mobility alongside improving their health and mental well-being.”

The Serenity Garden is split into two areas. The stroke rehabilitation area helps patients navigate real-world obstacles which mirror navigation around crowded areas, such as ramps and uneven surfaces, in a safe and controlled environment.

The dementia therapy area incorporates wheelchair-accessible raised flower beds arranged with specially selected plants to stimulate sight, touch, sound, and smell. There is also a dementia-friendly pathway designed as an infinity loop to provide a sense of direction as patients walk through the area.

A bespoke lodge sits at the heart of the garden which can accommodate hospital beds, wheelchairs and able-bodied patients who can make use of specialist equipment to aid muscle building, concentration, and fine motor skills.

George Eliot Hospital would like to recognise that this project would have not been possible without the generous support of over 160 donors including staff, individuals, and businesses in the local and wider community.