A new garden has opened at Worthing Hospital for patients, visitors and staff to enjoy as a place of solace and calm.
The Serenity Garden, located by the Penguin Foyer in the hospital, has been completely transformed into a tranquil space that was previously inaccessible to the public.
The hospital’s chaplain, Reverend David Hill and his wife Sandra, commissioned the redesign and creation of the new garden in loving memory of their sons, Jason and Stuart, who sadly lost their lives in a helicopter accident during an excursion to the Grand Canyon in 2018.
David said: “After the tragedy of losing both of our grown-up children, we became aware there were very few places for people in our hospital who have received bad news to sit and ‘be’ without attracting the attention of those nearby. We also wanted to have a place that commemorated Jason and Stuart’s rich lives.”
“For years, I have walked past the Penguin Garden and we started to think about how we could combine our memories to make it a special place for peace and stillness while surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of nature. The idea of a Serenity Garden was born and we were thrilled when the hospital fully endorsed the idea.”
The outside area now provides plenty of benches and ambient lighting nestled amongst newly added plants and trees. Garden designer, Luc Harvengt at Luc Gardens, worked on the brief with David and Sandra to create a ‘woodland experience’ with accessibility and privacy at the heart of the design concept.
Luc said: “We started with the circular seating area right in the middle of the garden which is surrounded by raised beds so that visitors can sit in peace. We planted beautiful tree ferns which are perfect for shady areas and I kept the floor all one level and colour to make it accessible to people with visual impairment and less disorienting for those with cognitive challenges.”
Plenty of room has been created for easy navigation around the garden, incorporating space for visitors with a pushchair or those requiring a wheelchair, use of crutches or a walking frame.