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Brighter Futures launch Wellbeing Garden Appeal to remember lives lost

This month, work has started on a wellbeing garden at Great Western Hospital and Brighter Futures are asking for local people to support the cause.

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed tens of thousands of lives across England with 338 lives lost across Swindon's local hospital.

In memory of everyone who has lost their life to COVID-19 and other causes, the Trust is building a calming garden which will become a legacy in which families and colleagues can remember their loved ones for years to come.

This week, the Trust's charity, Brighter Futures, launched its Wellbeing Garden Appeal which is asking the people of Swindon and Wiltshire support the garden through a variety of fundraising activities.

Cat Weaver, Associate Director of Fundraising at the Trust, said: "The memorial garden will be a really special place for staff, patients and visitors to come to reflect, remember and celebrate the lives of their loved ones.

"This space is for local people to use, so we want to involve them in helping us to create it through this appeal.

"People who want to raise money through COVID-safe fundraising activities can sponsor plants, trees and features in the garden and have messages and memorial text included on plaques.

"Just over £55,000 has been raised to date and we've received an incredible donation of £25,000 from The Hospital Company (Swindon and Marlborough) Limited, who are supporting us with building the garden. A huge thank you to them for kick-starting our appeal."

Kevin McNamara, Chief Executive, added: "The garden will be located around the pond on the hospital site, and will be landscaped with modern perennial planting, colourful borders, and new trees.

"The existing walkway will be widened for greater accessibility for wheelchair users and will become a tranquil space to reflect, remember and celebrate life.

"I'm really looking forward to it coming into shape and know that this will be a really important space for so many people. My thanks go to everyone who supports the appeal."

The garden will be made up of eight zones combing modern perennial planting schemes with raised seating areas.

It will showcase three focal points, including a lath house with roof and seating area, providing a quiet place for contemplation, a raised seating area surrounded by raised planters for people to enjoy a hidden jungle with far reaching views across the pond, and a sunken garden with two moon gates that people can pass through amongst the colourful boarders.

The memorial garden will also have an interactive element, and a trail offering information and advice in support of the mental health and wellbeing of staff, patients and visitors.

Local artists are being approached to support with creating sculptures and other artwork for the garden.

Further information

To find out more about the appeal, please see the Brighter Futures website: Wellbeing Garden Appeal.

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