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Safe garden opens

20 June 2023

Great Yarmouth Mayor Penny Carpenter cuts a blue ribbon to mark the formal opening of the garden.  Penny wears a pink and black dress with a floral design and a pink jacket. The ribbon has been tied between two white posts, one with a bus stopp sign on, the other with a red post box mounted on it. In front of the ribbon and the posts is a small wooden bench with the slats of the seat brightly painted - one pink, one yellow and one green. Our Chief Executive Jo Segasby stands watching the ribbon cutting, along with a man in a Morgan Sindall fluorescent jacket. Part of the garden including bushes and planters are visible around the photo.  

A new ‘safe garden’ at the James Paget has been formally opened by Great Yarmouth Mayor Penny Carpenter.

The new garden has been created in one of our courtyard areas and has been designed to be a safe open space for armed service veteran patients, as well as those living with dementia, autism and learning disabilities, and their families.

The opening came at the start of Armed Forces Week yesterday, Monday 19 June, and the garden features a remembrance area as well as a host of things to support reminiscence and sensory needs.

The garden was initiated by James Paget Armed Forces Advocate Chris Blyth and our Safeguarding team, including Dementia Care Lead Ali Thayne, who have been working on the project to create the new garden.

Chris raised more than £1,200 through sponsorship when he ran the London Marathon in April, to help fund many of the garden features, and the project has also been supported by a number of businesses and individuals including Morgan Sindall, who supplied workers to help construct different areas and funded items for the garden, and ATD (Attention to Detail) Gardening and Landscaping Services, whose owner Melvin Hilsden created wall designs featuring a soldier.

The remembrance bench, which is black metal with an intricate design on the back. The top reads 'Lest we forget' and has two poppies on, the middle has a cut-out design featuring six standing soldiers, three on each side of a cross, and one on horseback. This also has a plan and a poppy on it. At the bottom there are the words 'At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them'. Behind the bench 'Lest we forget' is painted on wall with two poppies, a cross and a soldier design.  A tree and bushes are visible around the bench.

Mayor Penny Carpenter gave a speech at the opening and said thank you to everyone who had been involved in its creation.

“The generosity of businesses and individuals has been heart-warming. The garden is a symbol of hope, healing and respite and patients will be able to find solace and tranquillity here in this therapeutic environment while they are in hospital.”

The garden in now in use and it is hoped patients and staff will be able to enjoy time in the space, which features benches, a bus stop and post box, bird boxes, a fairy garden, planters and other items of interest, alongside bee-friendly flowers and plants.

Chris Blyth, Chief Nurse Paul Morris and the Safeguarding team are pictured near the bus stop feature. Three women, including Mayor Penny Carpenter and Dementia Care Lead Ali Thayne sit on the bench with two women and two men (Paul and Chris) stand behind them. The garden, bus stop sign and post box are all partially visible in the garden around them.

Part of the garden, including a small metal cut out of a soldier, a concrete pagoda-style garden ornament and forget-me-not flowers painted on the wall behind

One of the brightly coloured benches, with pink, yellow and green top slats, a planter with plants and a blue butterfly

Part of the fairy garden area, with small black metal fairy cut-outs, toadstools, a little house and tiny chairs and toadstool table. The area is surrounded by gravel and plants.