Sunday, 23 June 2024
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Sunday, 23 June 2024

Virtual tributes sought for hospital memorial garden

THE Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity need your fundraising support to ensure a new memorial garden at Rotherham Hospital continues to bloom.

In November 2020, work started to transform a disused patch of land in the grounds of Rotherham Hospital into the Snowdrop Memorial Garden. After months of planning and a generous £11,557 donation from national charity 4 Louis, the garden has been transformed into a calming and peaceful space.

The Trust’s charity is now inviting people to sponsor a flower via online fundraising platform Visufund. Whether you choose a virtual rose, a tulip or a daisy the funds will enable to the charity to plant real-life flowers and to maintain the garden.

The project was spearheaded by midwives Shahida Mehrban and Hayley Lea who hoped to provide a tranquil space for parents who have sadly lost a baby. However, the garden will be open for all colleagues, patients, families and members of the community who need it.

Shahida Mehrban, a Bereavement Specialist Midwife at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We’ve always felt that a memorial garden for people to pay their respects to loved ones would be a wonderful addition to Rotherham Hospital so it’s rewarding to see it finally completed after months of planning and hard work.

“We now need the public’s support to help the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity to fund its upkeep, which will include regularly planting flowers. We want it to look and feel beautiful all year round and hopefully for generations to come.”

Hayley Lea, a midwife on Wharncliffe Ward at Rotherham Hospital, also said:

“We know many people will have pledged to support their local community as part of their New Year’s Resolutions and I couldn’t think of a better way to start 2021 than sponsoring a virtual flower for our beautiful memorial garden.

“We hope the garden will be a focal point for the hospital and will show patients and colleagues that we care about them when it really matters the most. We’re asking people to sponsor a flower and be part of that support network for the bereaved families we care for.”

Visufund is an online fundraising platform which allows donors to contribute to Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity’s virtual flower garden. Individual roses, tulips and daisies can be sponsored from as little as £2. To find out more and to donated visit

Rotherham Hospital’s memorial garden is one of just two in Yorkshire funded by 4 Louis, which works nationally to support anyone affected by miscarriage, the death of a baby or child.

Virtual tributes sought for hospital memorial garden
Charity – Memorial Garden – Sharon Abbott and Martin Havenhand

Sam Cartwright, Senior Site Manager at Chesterfield-based landscape gardeners Killingley, created the concept design for the garden. He was inspired by the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity’s children’s appeal mascot Dr Ted – the outline shape of the garden will look like a teddy bear’s head.

The garden currently includes a hornbeam hedge around the exterior to provide privacy, a weeping cherry blossom memorial tree in the centre, benches, flowering shrubs, flowers and plants.

In future, the Trust will use the garden to mark national events such as Baby Loss Awareness Week in October and Remembrance Sunday in November.

Martin Havenhand, Chairman of the Trust, added:

“I know how hard our midwives have worked to bring their ideas for a memorial garden to fruition, from creating mood boards, developing concept designs with Killingley and working with 4 Louis and the hospital charity to successfully secure funding. Now the garden is complete, being able to fund the continued upkeep of the garden and to plant flowers regularly will be an ongoing challenge

“Our thoughts are with all those who have lost a loved one. The memorial garden is a lovely place to visit and a way of showing that we care about remembering and celebrating their lives. Please support the campaign by donating what you can.”


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