A HOSPITAL charity in Dorset has launched an appeal to create a private garden area for staff to remember, reflect and rest following the difficulties of working through the pandemic.

Whilst the spread of the virus has slowed down, staff at University Hospitals Dorset are working tirelessly as they manage the backlog of patient appointments and surgeries.

University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity have opened an appeal to raise £35,000 to fund a Lavender Garden for hospital staff to rest and recuperate during busy shifts.

The Lavender Garden concept was initially proposed by the Royal Bournemouth Hospital Theatres team, who identified the perfect space for a special private garden in memory of Anna and Tom, two colleagues who they lost last year.

Theatre’s matron Will Blackman said: “In 2020, our hospital’s theatre department sadly lost two colleagues and dear friends; Anna and Tom.

“We want to help raise funds to build the garden so we can have a space to remember them.

“Due to the pandemic, we were unable to attend their funerals and say goodbye, within this space we can take the time to reflect and keep their memory alive.”

The garden will be located at Royal Bournemouth Hospital and will be accessible to all hospital staff, providing space for them to take a break and remember colleagues that they and their fellow team members have sadly lost over the past year.

To encourage staff use throughout the year, the garden will feature a pagoda, seating and a summerhouse.

Raised flower beds and evergreen plants will surround the area, with the addition of vibrant purple lavender in memory of Anna, that will fill the garden with life.

Integrated IT desktop services manager Rob Flux said: “Our beloved colleague Jonathan Martin was taken too soon and has left a significant void in our team.

“It has been tougher than we could have imagined in the hospital, and nobody could have foreseen this loss that we would experience as part of our everyday jobs.

“I take comfort in that this garden will give myself and my team members a space for them to take time out of their busy days to rest and reflect and think fondly of those that have touched our lives.”

For those interested in making a donation or raising funds to support the Lavender Garden appeal, visit UHDcharity.org/lavendergarden or contact the University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity office on 0800 019 4060/8449.