New garden at Worthing Hospital will be a place for peace and reflection

New garden at Worthing Hospital will be a place for peace and reflection

A new garden has opened at Worthing Hospital for patients, visitors and staff to enjoy as a place of solace and calm.

The Serenity Garden, located by the Penguin Foyer in the hospital, has been completely transformed into a tranquil space that was previously inaccessible to the public.

The hospital’s chaplain, Reverend David Hill and his wife Sandra, commissioned the redesign and creation of the new garden in loving memory of their sons, Jason and Stuart, who sadly lost their lives in a helicopter accident during an excursion to the Grand Canyon in 2018.

David said: “After the tragedy of losing both of our grown-up children, we became aware there were very few places for people in our hospital who have received bad news to sit and ‘be’ without attracting the attention of those nearby. We also wanted to have a place that commemorated Jason and Stuart’s rich lives.”

“For years, I have walked past the Penguin Garden and we started to think about how we could combine our memories to make it a special place for peace and stillness while surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of nature. The idea of a Serenity Garden was born and we were thrilled when the hospital fully endorsed the idea.”

The outside area now provides plenty of benches and ambient lighting nestled amongst newly added plants and trees. Garden designer, Luc Harvengt at Luc Gardens, worked on the brief with David and Sandra to create a ‘woodland experience’ with accessibility and privacy at the heart of the design concept.

Luc said: “We started with the circular seating area right in the middle of the garden which is surrounded by raised beds so that visitors can sit in peace. We planted beautiful tree ferns which are perfect for shady areas and I kept the floor all one level and colour to make it accessible to people with visual impairment and less disorienting for those with cognitive challenges.”

Plenty of room has been created for easy navigation around the garden, incorporating space for visitors with a pushchair or those requiring a wheelchair, use of crutches or a walking frame.

David and Sandra Hill joined by Chief Executive Dame Marianne Griffiths and guests at the garden opening.

The garden also has clever lighting which creates an atmospheric scene at night illuminating the trees and plants. Luc added: “We placed a globe light right in the middle of the garden which is on 24/7. It means even on the darkest days, there will always be a light shining.”

The beloved metal penguins, a familiar feature to hospital visitors who have called the outside space their home for many years, continue to inhabit the garden around the periphery.

David Clayton-Evans, head of charity for Love Your Hospital, the dedicated charity for St Richard’s, Worthing and Southlands Hospitals, said: “This is such an incredible donation and this wonderful gift from David and Sandra has helped to create a lasting space where patients, families and our staff will have a meaningful and beautiful place to visit in the heart of our hospital.”

David Hill said: “Life is not always going to be easy and whether you’re a member of staff, a visitor or a patient feeling bruised by what life has thrown at you, we hope that this garden will make a small contribution to a person’s need for peace, serenity and respite. The Serenity Garden is now open for anyone and everyone and we are humbled to have been a part of providing this place. We hope it will become special to many people in the future.”

NHS charity launches COVID-19 Appeal to support ‘Hospital Heroes’

NHS charity launches COVID-19 Appeal to support ‘Hospital Heroes’

NHS Staff Western Sussex

Hospital staff at Western Sussex NHS Foundation Trust thank the public for their support.


Donate to our COVID-19 appeal here 

An appeal has been launched to support staff at St Richard’s, Worthing and Southlands Hospitals during the coronavirus crisis.

Love Your Hospital, the dedicated charity of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has launched the ‘Hospital Heroes COVID-19’ Appeal to help staff caring for patients with the virus.

The charity, which raises funds to provide state-of-the-art medical equipment, upgrade hospital facilities and support staff development, is now focusing its efforts on supporting the health and wellbeing of clinical and non-clinical staff being hailed by the local community as ‘Hospital Heroes’.

Alan McCarthy, trust chairman said: “We are all so proud of our dedicated staff who are showing real resilience in helping us to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

“Not only are they caring for the most vulnerable in our communities, but many staff are isolated from their own families and working longer hours than expected so they can be there for us all. I do hope everyone will get behind our charity’s Hospital Heroes COVID-19 appeal to help give back to staff during this challenging time.”

Coronavirus in the UK is still rising with the Government predicting more cases will emerge in the coming weeks. NHS staff – including nurses, doctors, midwives, paramedics, domestic cleaners, porters, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals – are among the most vital key workers in the ongoing fight against this virus.

Funds raised from the appeal could help the charity provide ‘Comfort Packs’ for staff working long shifts, especially those who are staying in emergency accommodation, away from their own homes and families.

 Unfortunately, due to hospital restrictions at present, St Richard’s, Worthing and Southlands Hospitals cannot accept physical donations or gifts. Instead, staff are encouraging people to donate money so that the Trust can best decide where the need is greatest.

David Clayton-Evans, head of charity at Love Your Hospital, said: “We have been amazed at the level of support coming in from people across West Sussex and we know there is a real desire to make sure NHS staff are being cared for too.

“We have launched this COVID-19 appeal to do just that and I’d like to say a heartfelt thanks in advance to everyone for their support of our wonderful hospital teams who are doing a tremendous job.”

Donate to our COVID-19 appeal here

Alternatively, financial donations may also be sent to: Love Your Hospital COVID-19 Appeal, St Richard’s Hospital, Stillman House, Spitalfield Lane, Chichester PO19 6SE or to make a donation by credit card over the phone, please call 0800 028 4890.


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