Hospitals’ memorial garden projects deliver special places

Preston headquartered architecture, design and masterplanning practice FWP has been involved in the creation of special places of contemplation at two Lancashire hospitals.

The memorial gardens at Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble hospitals are today offering their staff, patients and visitors a tranquil area for rest and reflection.

Chorley and South Ribble’s garden, with its striking ‘Gift of Life’ butterfly sculpture, was unveiled last month (February). Preston’s memorial garden opened last summer.

Both have been created by the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity to honour organ and tissue donors and to highlight the importance of donation across the region.

FWP’s CDM & Safety Services Team helped co-ordinate and assist the project manager at Chorley development, giving its time for free. It also led on the Royal Preston Hospital project.

Brian Jolly, manager of FWP’s Health and Safety department, who played a leading role in the Chorley project, said: “It has been an honour to have worked as part of the memorial garden team to create such a very special and distinctive place at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital.

“It will provide peace and tranquillity for people for many years to come as a place where people can come together to remember, relax and recharge.”

David Simmons, FWP senior associate who led on the Preston project, which also honours those who lost their lives during the Covid 19 pandemic, said: “The memorial garden, with its striking memorial tree, is also a very special place.

“We feel very privileged that we were able to play our part in its creation and that it is now having such a positive impact on both staff and visitors to Royal Preston, offering them the space for rest and reflection. It is also great to see the garden at Chorley and South Ribble is now completed.”

The Chorley and South Ribble garden was commissioned and paid for by the NHS Trust’s Organ Donation Committee.

It was funded by a grant from NHS Charities Together – who helped fund the gardens at both Chorley and Royal Preston at a total cost of £100,000 – while the Harold and Alice Bridges Charity donated £2,000 and the Warburtons Foundation £400 towards the project.

Both gardens have been designed to ensure a defined area to remember all lives which have sadly been lost, as well as those who have given the precious gift of life.

Dan Hill, Head of Hospital Charities at the trust, said: “The finished garden and sculpture looks absolutely amazing. This wouldn’t have been possible without the input, support and generosity of all involved. Thank you so much!”

Ellie Orton, chief executive at NHS Charities Together, added: “NHS staff are under more pressure than ever before – and having spaces where they can rest and reflect in between busy shifts can make a huge difference to their overall health and well-being.

“We are so pleased we could help create this memorial garden together with the hospital charity and the generous support of the public, for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital, after completing one at Royal Preston Hospital.

“Both areas really will make a big difference, not just to staff, but to the patients and families they support.”

FWP’s design team was also behind last year’s acclaimed refurbishment of the Charters Restaurant at Royal Preston Hospital.

The refreshed restaurant space connects directly to the garden area which includes a beautifully hand-crafted steel memorial tree, where names of those who have donated organs are engraved onto leaves.

FWP, which has offices in Preston, Manchester, and London, has worked on a wide range of NHS projects, including the delivery of the award-winning £9.4m Wesham Rehabilitation Centre on the Fylde Coast, the Life and Urgent Care centres at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital and The Minerva Centre in Preston North End’s Deepdale football stadium.

And at the end of 2022 an inspiring new home for child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in Stockport, which was delivered by FWP, opened its doors to young people and families.