Publish date: 1 November 2021

Hospital staff and bereaved families have come together for a formal opening of a new Remembrance Garden funded by NHS Charities Together and the hospitals’ own WHH Charity.  

The garden, designed by Heather By Design, features an array of subtle flowers, trellises and seating areas with wooden benches and will serve as a place for people to reflect, relax and remember their loved ones.

At the centre of the garden is a stone birdbath that was donated in memory of Warrington local, Tony Nicholson. Tony sadly passed away in November 2020 aged just 60 years old, after being treated for COVID-19 in the Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. The family wanted to memorialise him with the engraved birdbath placed in the garden.

“He was such a loving husband, father and grandfather” said Tony’s daughter, Hannah. “A family man through and through. People would often say that he could talk to anyone about anything. He was kind, chatty, and warm,” she continues. “We wanted to donate something that can be enjoyed by anybody and everybody.”

Tony’s sister-in-law Sue Stevens, brother-in-law Matthew Walker and nephew Ben Stevens attended the formal opening, representing Tony’s wife, daughter and son.

The garden forms part of a ‘COVID-19 legacy’ at WHH, as there had previously been no single place where patients, bereaved families or staff could go to reflect on these unprecedented times and remember those who did not survive. Bereaved members of the public are also welcome to visit at any time and the garden is accessible from the outside of the hospital behind Kendrick Wing.

Funding for the garden came from WHH Charity and NHS Charities, but Helen Higginson, our Head of Fundraising, says the hospital still needs help from the public: “Being able to provide such a peaceful, calming garden on such a busy hospital site has been a great success and all due to the incredible support received by our communities throughout the past 18 months, of which we are truly grateful. We encourage everyone to keep that momentum going by continuing to support your local NHS hospital charity in whatever way you can.”