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Baby Memorial Garden update March 2024

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We are pleased to provide you with an update on the relocation of the Baby Memorial Garden at University Hospital of North Durham. We are nearing completion and wanted to share the latest developments.

1. Garden Completion: The relocation of the Baby Memorial Garden is nearly complete. The landscaping and construction work have been finalised, creating a serene and comforting space for families to remember and honour their babies.

2. Bespoke Sculpture Installation: The final phase of the project involves the installation of two bespoke sculptures, which will serve as a poignant centre piece for the garden. In line with the wishes families shared through the engagement sessions, wood from the large tree in the original garden is being used to create a series of 'globes' to form a sculpture piece and in addition, the Trust has also commissioned, with the support of our Charity, a sculpture representing the 'infinity' symbol.  The pathway in the new garden is shaped in the same symbol and both have been carefully designed to symbolise hope and remembrance.

3. Formal Opening: Once the sculptures are complete and installed, and the new baby memorial garden is fully complete we are planning a formal opening ceremony. This event will provide an opportunity for families, staff, and stakeholders to come together and mark the significance of this space. We will share more details about the opening ceremony, including the date and time in the coming weeks.

4. Trustee Group: As the baby memorial garden will require ongoing management and care, we are in the process of establishing a Trustee Group. This dedicated group of individuals will be responsible for overseeing the maintenance of the garden. We will be reaching out to families and our local communities as potential trustees to discuss their involvement and ensure a diverse representation of perspectives and experiences.

5. Access: While the garden is not yet fully complete, it is accessible for any families who wish to visit ahead of the formal opening. The key to the garden is held by the car park reception team in the 'trust headquarters' building. This is the small building at the far end of the patients and visitors car park. The key will need to be signed out and back in to help maintain the security and safety of the garden. As a reminder, the new garden is now located in the 'woodland walk' area of the hospital grounds.

We are grateful for the support and collaboration of all involved in bringing this project to near completion.

Thank you for your continued patience, understanding and commitment to this important project.  We look forward to sharing further updates as we progress toward the formal opening and the establishment of the Trustee Group.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to get in touch: Paula Brennan, Patient Experience Manager on email: or telephone: 0800 783 5774.

'In recent times, I have utilised admissions to Richardson for respite direct from my fracture clinic, even at weekends. I have never worked anywhere with this efficiency before - it is reassuring and invaluable for the patient.'

Patient, Lowson / Starling Wards, Richardson Hospital