Publish date: 18 October 2023

Plans to transform an unused hospital courtyard area into a staff reflection garden in memory of much-loved colleagues have received a major boost following a hospital charity abseil event.

More than £5,000 has been raised for Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals Charity’s garden appeal after staff and members of the public abseiled down the side of the Medical Education Centre at Warrington Hospital.

Janet Guy, a former radiology diagnostics manager from Great Sankey who sadly died aged 62 in December 2021, had a view of the unused courtyard from the office where she worked in Warrington Hospital’s radiology department. She had often spoken about the potential to improve the area by turning it into a peaceful and reflective space where staff could take their breaks or take time out when they needed a moment away from the busy clinical area.

Colleagues at Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WHH) felt that a reflection garden would be a fitting tribute to remember Janet and other much-loved former colleagues, and set about initiating a fundraising campaign to make it happen.

A total of 16 people abseiled 60ft down the building at the Lovely Lane site, guided by abseil experts Abseil UK last month.

Janet’s son Matthew, who came to watch the event with his family, said: “My mum worked at the hospital for 42 years and was passionate about making the garden somewhere pleasant for staff to take time and relax on their breaks.

“It’s great to have the support of mum’s former colleagues and the Warrington and Halton Hospitals Charity to create a space for staff to relax, reflect and remember former colleagues which I know she would have loved.”

As part of the project Helen Higginson, Head of Fundraising, invited community partners Warrington & Vale Royal College to be involved, with art students subsequently pledging to create murals for display in the garden.

Radiology Administrator Irene Crowder, who worked with Janet, said: “Following Janet’s death and the sudden death of another colleague shortly afterwards, it was agreed to try to create a reflection garden so that staff could spend their free time in a calming and inviting garden area and remember the colleagues we have lost over the years. 

“The students created five beautifully modern murals which represent everything the staff had hoped for. Their work was outstanding and will be a lasting memory of the colleagues lost, and give solace to those who remember them with love.”

The charity would like to thank students at Warrington & Vale Royal College for their support, as well as local businesses Business-ology and Bumblebee Plumbing and Heating which assisted with the transfer of the murals from the college, on Winwick Road, to Warrington Hospital.

Ben Brady, the college’s Director of Curriculum and Quality, said: “It was a privilege for our HNC visual arts students to create this mural for the reflection garden at Warrington Hospital.

“In supporting such a great cause, it gave our students the opportunity to work on a live project, receiving invaluable external feedback whilst also creating site specific artwork in response to a client need.”

The reflection garden is an ongoing project and will be developed in stages. If you would like to donate funds to the appeal, visit the JustGiving page: WHH Charity - Radiology Garden - JustGiving.

To help or donate items for the garden, please call the fundraising team on 01925 662666 or email