DRI Rainbow Garden February 2021.jpg

Work has begun this week on a memorial garden at Doncaster Royal Infirmary following an appeal by staff to create spaces dedicated to three much loved colleagues, and all those across our communities, who we have lost to Covid-19.

In June of this year, our colleagues at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals started their fundraising with an ambition to create two beautiful spaces in honour of those affected by Covid-19, in particular their colleagues, Kevin Smith, Dr Medhat Atalla and Lorraine Butterfield, who sadly passed away from the illness.

The target for the appeal was £35,000 and to date over £43,000 has been raised thanks to the generosity of our local communities and businesses.  The memorial gardens were named Rainbow Gardens as Rainbows are symbols of hope, and have become synonymous with the NHS during the pandemic.

The garden at Bassetlaw Hospital was completed in October and was created by John and Carolyn Fox of J P Fox Services.  John and Carolyn volunteered their time free-of-charge as a thank you for the care and support Carolyn’s mum received before she passed away from Covid-19.

Richard Parker OBE, Chief Executive at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, said: “As an organisation we have been humbled by the amount of support we have received  throughout the pandemic. When we launched the appeal in June last year we hoped to raise £35,000 to create two gardens, but to surpass that target is testament to the support we have from our local communities.  The past eleven months have been an incredibly challenging time for our colleagues, and the wider NHS, and following the loss of Kevin, Medhat and Lorraine it was felt a space was needed for those affected by Covid-19 to give them a place to go to remember, reflect and recharge.

The garden at Doncaster Royal Infirmary is next to the Fracture Clinic and currently is just grassed and unused. The finished garden will feature places to sit, beautiful plants and scenery and a sculpture created by a local artist.

For more information and details on how to get involved, go to: https://www.dbth.nhs.uk/charity/rainbow-gardens/

Pictured L to R: Revd Andy Armitt, Hospital Chaplain and Richard Parker OBE, Chief Executive