Two beautiful rainbow benches have been donated to North Devon District Hospital by The Rotary Club of Bideford. The benches are inscribed with “THANKFUL FOR OUR MANY POTS OF GOLD…”
Jacquie Willoughby, President of Bideford Rotary said: “We wanted to do something special to bring a smile or two to this difficult year and rainbows have been a central theme. The benches are to remind NHS staff that they are appreciated for all they have done this year and continue to do every day, every week, every year – they are undoubtedly ‘pots of gold’!
“We also hope that patients and their friends and families who sit on these benches will find them uplifting.
“We want them to smile and be thankful for the good things in their lives, to bring focus to their personal pots of gold rather than on any disappointments.”
The benches are made of recycled plastic, which is how the colours can be so vibrant. Ellen Fineran, customer services manager of TDP Ltd, who helped encourage its design team to make these special benches for Bideford Rotary Club, said: “Only yellow is a really difficult colour. They are particularly durable and should last for at least 20 years maintenance free so will be a positive reminder of COVID 2020 for many years to come.”
Jacquie Willoughby added “I would love to see these benches in every hospital around the country, they delight everyone who sees them.”
The benches are currently at The Fern Centre but may be moved to the main hospital entrance. The Fern Centre was the location for Project Wingman during the initial lockdown when furloughed airline staff volunteered their time to help boost morale in the hospitals.
Rotarian Kevin Cole said, “My son was a BA pilot who was heavily involved in Wingman which is how our Rotary Club became aware of what The Fern Centre was doing. I am proud of what my son did in the Spring, and I am proud to help deliver the benches today.”
The Over and Above Fern Centre is the new cancer and wellbeing centre at North Devon District Hospital. The centre was built and is funded by the generous donations made to hospital charity Over and Above. The centre has been designed to be a welcoming, relaxing environment where people diagnosed with cancer, their relatives and carers can come to access information and support away from the main hospital. The centre offers a range of services that visitors can access such as counselling, complementary therapies, support groups, wig fitting clinics and financial advice. The Centre also has three en-suite accommodation rooms available to relatives of patients admitted to North Devon District Hospital allowing them to stay close by to their loved ones.
The Over and Above charity is currently raising funds to help complete the Fern Centre garden for visitors to enjoy. The plans include a sensory garden with communal potting shed and quiet seating areas for our visitors to immerse themselves in nature. These beautiful benches donated by the Rotary Club will be perfect to offer visitors a comfortable place to relax surrounded by plants and wildlife.