Memory walk work begins at West Suffolk Hospital as fundraising campaign tops £60k mark


- Credit: Archant

The first phase of work to build a dementia memory walk in the corridors of West Suffolk Hospital has begun as a fundraising campaign to pay for the work more than doubled its £25,000 target to reach an impressive £60,000.

The Forget-Me-Not Dementia Campaign was launched a year ago by West Suffolk Hospital Charity, in conjunction with the East Anglian Daily Times and Mercury newspapers.

The original aim was to raise £25,000 – a sum achieved just before Christmas – but the charity has been blown away by the continuing generosity shown by the local community. A £20,000 legacy was donated to the appeal and fundraising events and donations continue.

After a day room on ward G4 was refurbished and reminiscence training and materials bought from the fundraising, the focus is now on the dementia walk on the G corridor. A working party, made up of dementia trainers, champions and key staff members, met for the first time last week to begin planning items for inclusion in the walk.

At the same time, vital work on improving the flooring in the corridor has begun with West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust committing a significant sum of money to the project.

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Dave Gooderham, fundraising manager, said: “The huge generosity shown by the community towards the Forget-Me-Not Dementia Campaign has shown what an important appeal this is.

“The working party will now be concentrating on investing that money wisely to ensure patients with dementia and their families and carers get the most out of it.”

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While plans for the dementia walk remain in their infancy, initial ideas were to include landmarks and imagery from towns and villages across the hospital’s catchment area.

Julie Fountain, dementia lead at the hospital, said: “The walk, like the day room in G4, will give us a place to take patients, to talk to them about the various landmarks and sights and offer some solace and comfort.”

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