On Friday, May 27, health professionals will carry out the ribbon cutting ceremony at the ‘Rainbow Garden’ at Bassetlaw Hospital.
The Rainbow Garden project began in June 2020, as colleagues at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH), with support from Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals’ Charity, started to fundraise with an ambition to create two beautiful spaces in honour of those affected by COVID-19, in particular colleagues, Kevin Smith, Dr Medhat Atalla, Lorraine Butterfield, Susan Bishop and Tracy Robinson all of whom passed away from the illness in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
With a target of £35,000 set for the project, with the help of almost 300 supporters and donations large and small, in just eight weeks the goal had been met, with over £50,000 raised allowing the work on the garden spaces to get underway in earnest at Bassetlaw Hospital first, and latterly at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
The first Rainbow Garden was completed in September 2020 at Bassetlaw, however due to COVID-19 restrictions the official opening ceremony was delayed until a more appropriate time. Between now and then, colleagues and patients within the hospital site have been able to enjoy the area, with it proving particularly popular during the summer months.
The Rainbow Garden was created by John and Carolyn Fox, with support from staff at Anpario, an international manufacturer and distributor of animal feeds and additivities, who also made a significant donation of £10,000 to help create the remembrance space.
Jon Sargeant, Deputy Chief Executive at the Trust, takes up the story: “The kindness shown to the Trust throughout the pandemic has been truly extraordinary, however the support shown to the creation of a pair of Rainbow Gardens was beyond our expectations and I want to share deep thanks on behalf of everyone at DBTH.
“In particular at Bassetlaw Hospital, the Trust received £10,000 from Anpario and support from their staff, while John Fox, and his wife Carolyn who used to work within our Finance team, also made a kind donation of their time to develop the garden.
"The resulting space is beautiful and a fitting tribute to those in whose memory it is dedicated.”