Hospital staff celebrate opening of wellbeing space built by Sewell Group firm

14th Jul

Managers of a construction company that is part of the Hull-based Sewell Group have joined hospital staff at the official opening of an exclusive space dedicated to the health and wellbeing of NHS workers.

As the NHS celebrated its 73rd birthday last Monday, Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust staff were joined by West-Yorkshire based construction company Illingworth & Gregory (I&G) – part of Sewell Group – which created the space at Rotherham Hospital, to celebrate with an NHS tea party. Entertainment included a brass band and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Dr Richard Jenkins, interim chief executive for the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It is an honour and a pleasure to be able to officially open the Wellbeing Gardens here at Rotherham Hospital.

“On the NHS’s 73rd Birthday, it is great to be celebrating something else that will be here for our staff for many years to come.

“The importance of wellbeing and taking time out has never been more of a focus for NHS staff, and these gardens will provide exclusive access to allow ours to enjoy quiet time in a tranquil space.”

As part of a wider programme of construction works throughout the hospital, I&G created the Wellbeing Gardens in just four weeks and has donated benches to the gardens.

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David Wood, contracts manager at I&G, said: “Our tight turnaround time meant that we had to design the gardens as they were being constructed, so it’s amazing to see it all come together so quickly and be able to welcome the hospital staff into what will be such an important space for them.

“We are so proud to have been selected to complete several refurbishment and expansion schemes for Rotherham Hospital on behalf of the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, all as a matter of Covid urgency.

“Through our expertise and knowledge within this sector, we have built a strong, long-standing relationship with the trust. We look forward to maintaining this and working with them further over the coming weeks and months.”

The Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity received a £50,000 grant from NHS Charities Together to help fund the gardens and a woodland walk at Rotherham Hospital.

Heather Craven, non-executive director for the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Last year the British public showed incredible generosity and support to the NHS by raising substantial sums of money. As a result, the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity had the opportunity to bid for a substantial grant and we were successful in securing it.

“Listening to ideas from our colleagues, it was clear that there was a need and desire for a dedicated space to relax and enjoy breaks, and from that the Wellbeing Gardens have been created.

“This is a true collaboration between the charity and the trust, testament to what we can achieve when we work together to turn a vision into reality. I want to thank the trust for persuading I&G to carry out the works in such short notice, and to I&G for not taking much persuading at all – jumping at the chance to create such an important space for our staff.”

I&G will be continuing external works at Rotherham Hospital including the final additions to the Wellbeing Gardens and Woodland Walk which is due to be completed in a few weeks.

I&G project manager Sherwin Naron said: “Personally, this particular project has been one of the most unique to work on because there was no initial specification provided for us to construct the gardens. It is testament to our team and skilled subcontractors for completing the works so quickly and to such precision. Seeing the reactions of the end-users at the official opening has been truly humbling.”

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