Grand opening of new memorial garden at Crawley Hospital
15 August 2017

Grand opening of new memorial garden at Crawley Hospital

A new memorial garden at Crawley Hospital has been unveiled by the mayor. Named the Jim Smith memorial garden it provides an increased seating area, a music facility, shrubs and flowers and a mural depicting Jim’s life. The garden is dementia friendly and helps to improve the experience for both patients and staff. The garden has been possible through a £12,000 Tesco Bag of Help community grant and a £700 donation from the Jim Smith memorial fund.

On the garden fence is a mural to Jim’s life and service to the local community. Jim was a Crawley councillor for 39 years, was instrumental in the build of the Hawth Theatre, was mayor for a record four times and was awarded an MBE in 2016. Jim died in 2016 and lived with dementia in later life.

The grand opening was attended by Brian Quinn, Mayor of Crawley; Brenda Smith, wife of the late Jim Smith; members of the Friends, staff from the local NHS, volunteers and others who enjoyed tea and cakes in the garden.

Gillian Wieck, Area Director for Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, provider at the hospital said: "The new memorial garden is a beautiful and tranquil place that our patients and staff can now enjoy.”

Lesley Marginson, President of the Friends said: “The League of Friends of Crawley Hospital are delighted in supporting improvements at the hospital to enhance patient experience. We hope the new Jim Smith memorial garden will serve patients well at the hospital and will aid their rehabilitation and recovery.”

Thanks also to Michael and Terri Simpson for facilitating the music in the garden and donating the amplifier and CD player and to Vanessa and Millie Cumper for painting the mural of Jim’s life.

Further information about the Friends is available online: http://bit.ly/2uEMLNv