New Chapel Garden opens at NNUH

A new Chapel Garden has opened at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital thanks to a charitable donation which has been facilitated by Nick and Kim Brighouse who live in Norwich.

Kim Brighouse says: “Whilst volunteering at the hospital I soon discovered how much a Chapel Garden would be valued and appreciated. The idea became a reality when a charitable fund was transferred back to Norfolk. I wanted to create a sanctuary out in the fresh air where people could take time out to relax, reflect and find some calm.”

Eleanor Langan, lead Chaplain at NNUH, says: “This beautiful garden provides us with an extension to the Chapel. It is a quiet, tranquil place in the heart of the hospital where patients, visitors and staff can spend time reflecting and may find strength, hope and peace.”

Kim and her daughter Ellen opened the garden earlier this week. The garden has been created in memory of Kim’s late husband Stephen and her son Alexander Kirby who both died tragically following a tent fire in 1994 when the family were on a camping holiday in France. Following the accident, Kim spearheaded a fundraising campaign with the Eastern Daily Press to create the first Skin Bank in the UK at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Roehampton which specialised in treating burns. She was supported in the fundraising by family and friends, as well as the local people of East Anglia. The Skin Bank opened in 1996 and saved the lives of countless burns patients over the years.

The Skin Bank finally closed following a reorganisation of Queen Mary’s Hospital, and its services were transferred to the NHS Blood and Transplant Service. Following discussion with the Charity Commission the remaining funds from the Skin Bank were moved back to Norfolk where much of the money had been raised, with the aim of creating a facility for local patients.

The design, build and opening of the Chapel Garden was organised by the Hospital Arts Project. Emma Jarvis, Hospital Arts Co-ordinator, says: “The focal point of the garden is a large Wish Tree sculpture surrounded by the words Faith, Hope and Love. The water rill symbolises eternal life and circles the garden which is planted in restful colours. There were so many people who contributed to the garden and the result of their work is truly stunning.”

Local garden design and landscaping company, Plan to Garden, designed the Chapel Garden last summer and started construction in November 2012 with extensive groundworks being carried out through the winter. The design features several curved oak seating areas and a water rill weaving around the garden in a figure of eight. The shady courtyard has been transformed into a lush, vibrant space; using plants such as hostas and heucheras to complement the structural clipped box topiary and yew columns.

The Wish Tree stands in the centre of the courtyard, acting as a focal point for the garden and providing a view from the many windows that look out onto the space. The tree was made by local blacksmiths at Fransham Forge, using galvanised steel which has been etched to give a pleasing appearance. It was designed by Emma Jarvis the Hospital Arts Coordinator at NNUH.

Notes to editors
If you would like to speak to Nick and Kim Brighouse they will be available from 9am to 10am on Friday 21st June. Contact the Communications Team on 01603 287634.

Thursday 20th of June 2013 11:00:26 AM