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Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust’s Charity is launching a fundraising appeal for a second therapeutic garden for people with dementia.

The charities team is calling on its generous fundraisers to rally together and reach the £50,000 total it needs to create another tranquil space for patients to enjoy.

Based in Baddow Ward, it will be designed to complement the care of people who have a diagnosis of dementia. Specialist choices will be made to create a peaceful environment from calming colour schemes to beautiful greenery and reminders of times gone by.
While £36,500 has already been raised for the project by the Trust’s charity, the team is seeking donations to meet its target and bring the garden to fruition.

This follows the success of the forget-me-not garden – based in a courtyard in the Braxted Ward of Broomfield Hospital – which was opened in April after more than a year of hard work from keen volunteers. The project cost £70,000 in total, with contributions from The Friends at Broomfield Hospital (£15,000), V Festival (£10,000), and J W Steele & Sons Ltd (£3,000), with the remainder donated by the Trust’s charity and other generous supporters.

The Trust’s charity is also celebrating the introduction of The Daily Sparkle to the wards – a newspaper which is designed to provide information and entertainment for the elderly and people with dementia. Featuring articles, quizzes and old news stories, its aim is to stimulate the mind and improve memory.

Funded by The Friends at Broomfield Hospital, the team at MEHT began distributing the title to patients in May after seeing how popular it was at Southend University Hospital NHS Trust.

Julie Green, dementia specialist, said: “The Daily Sparkle helps as a conversation starter – often it will make people with dementia feel much more confident. We have had some really positive feedback about it.

“The impact of the garden has been absolutely massive – access to an outside space is so important for everybody. The whole design is completely safe for patients so they don’t have to have somebody with them when they go out. You just see them take a deep breath of fresh air and calm instantly. It has been one of the most positive things I have seen in dementia care.
“The first garden was about open space and freedom and it has a circular route. The second garden will be very different and will be divided into circular rooms. It will be calming and patients will be able to have the option of both gardens. I would love to show people what a difference it makes.”

Barbara Coupe, vice chairman of The Friends at Broomfield Hospital, said: “The forget-me-not garden is a place where elderly people can go outside in a calm environment with pictures up of things that they might recognise from the old days. We all thought it was a wonderful, worthwhile thing to do.”

Yvonne Carter, charities manager, said: “We are always extremely grateful for the support that we receive from our generous, committed fundraisers.

“The forget-me-not garden has been very popular with our patients here at Broomfield Hospital and we will be pleased to receive donations for our new project. We hope to enhance the lives of our patients with another peaceful outside space in which to spend time.”


The Daily Sparkle newspaper

Mid Essex Hospitals Trust is delighted to have subscribed to The Daily Sparkle newspaper.

The Daily Sparkle is a newspaper which is full of articles, quizzes, old news stories, gossip, puzzles, sing-alongs and entertainment geared towards stimulating the mind and improving memory. The ‘Broomfield Daily’ will be launched on 27th May 2016 and will support meaningful activities plans for patients with dementia and reminiscence therapy. The Dementia Steering Group is very grateful to the Friends of Broomfield who have kindly funded this exciting resource.

“The Friends – Supporting your hospital, supporting you”