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Families' generosity to benefit future patients

​Two generous families whose loved ones received specialist dementia care from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) have donated original artwork and a commemorative bench to Hammerton Court in Norwich to benefit future patients.

Norwich-based artist John Watson, whose brother-in-law Trevor Asker received care for vascular dementia at the unit before he passed away last August, has created two ‘false windows’ showing a floral garden and a sunset. He has also designed special leaves on which patients, relatives and staff can write thoughts and memories before adding them to the branches of a new spirituality tree. 

In addition, Rosemary Matthews has also donated a bench in memory of her husband Stanley, who received care at Hammerton Court, which is part of the Julian Hospital, before passing away in March. It comes after Stanley’s Story, an appeal launched by Rose and her daughter Emma Waller, raised £8,000 in Stanley’s memory, which will be spent on taxis so that other patients can enjoy day trips.

John, a self-taught artist who specialises in nature, began work at Hammerton Court in August, just before Trevor passed away. He has spent nearly every Monday at the unit since, putting the finishing touches to the two scenes. 

“The care which Trevor received at Hammerton Court was excellent, and this is a way of saying thank you,” said John. “I had hoped that Trevor would be able to help me complete the pieces as he was a very good artist himself, but unfortunately he wasn’t able to. 

“I’ve had some really nice feedback about the two false windows, with people telling me they think they are brilliant. I’m really pleased that I’ve been able to do something to help future patients.” 

Mrs Matthews launched the Stanley’s Story after she saw the positive impact which spending time away from the hospital to attend a charity football match had on her husband. Her family has organised various events to raise the money, including a Motown night, tea parties and art sale, while a bikers’ ride out arranged by NSFT staff also raised funds for the appeal.

“We are really pleased that we’ve been able to raise this money for the patients at Hammerton Court,” said Mrs Matthews. “We noticed as a family that their faces lit up whenever they were involved in activities away from the hospital, which is why we wanted to do what we could to get other patients out and about.

“We have donated the bench as a permanent memorial to Stanley, and hope that also is something which other patients and their families will benefit from.”

Lisa Breame, Dementia Trainer with NSFT, said: “From all at Hammerton Court, we are extremely grateful to John, Rose, her family and other family carers for these fantastic donations and time given, which will make a real difference to the people receiving care at the unit in the future.” 

For more information about Stanley’s Story, click here

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