Staff at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals Trust have launched a fundraising appeal to develop memorial ‘Rainbow Gardens’ at Doncaster Royal Infirmary (DRI) and Bassetlaw Hospital sites.
Colleagues from across the Trust suggested that gardens be created in memory of all the local people who have sadly lost their life to the virus, including their beloved colleagues Kevin Smith and Dr Medhat Atalla.
To date 200 people have sadly died at the Trust from Covid-19.
Paul Haslam, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Rekha Ramanath, Consultant Care of the Elderly, who are both leading on the project, said: “Dr Atalla and Kev Smith will be greatly missed by everybody at the Trust and the local community.
“After speaking to both families and also colleagues who have worked with Dr Atalla and Kevin Smith, it is felt the creation of a memorial garden in their honour will be a fitting legacy and I think they would be pleased that it will be somewhere that would put a smile on people’s faces for the benefit of all.
“Whilst clapping for our colleagues it became clear to me that the outdoor environment could be significantly improved. There are no end of opportunities to make the hospital environment a better place to be. Improving our outdoor spaces will help to ease some of the pressure and provide a better quality outdoor environment for colleagues, supporting better mental health and wellbeing.”
Emma Shaheen, Fundraising lead at the Trust said: “Our local communities have provided overwhelming support over the last ten weeks by clapping, making donations, drawing rainbows and placing them in their windows as a sign of solidarity. Our teams have found the support inspiring, giving them the determination to continue to provide the best possible care to our patients in these exceptional circumstances.
“During the pandemic the rainbow has become a symbol of support for the NHS and it feels fitting that we create rainbow gardens in memory of those we have sadly lost.”
DBTH is asking the people of Doncaster and Bassetlaw for one last show of support in helping to raise;
• £25k to create a garden at DRI and Bassetlaw Hospital sites
• £30k to commission the materials to create a memorial at DRI for lost colleagues
• £35k to purchase additional tables and benches to be located across all sites for patients and staff to enjoy
However there is no limit and whatever we raise will be used to make our hospitals better places to be.
Emma continued “We are confident that once again our local communities and businesses will be off the scale in their support. At Bassetlaw we’ve already been approached by a landscape gardener to work on the garden free of charge as they themselves had lost a loved one at the hospital to Covid-19.”
To support the Rainbow Garden’s appeal you can donate on the Just Giving Page: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/doncaster-bassetlaw or contact the fundraising team on 01302 644244.