Butterfly Appeal launched to provide special garden area for end-of-life patients

Launch of the MyWiSH Butterfly Appeal. The Bury Free Press is supporting the MyWiSH Butterfly Appeal, which aims to raise £340,000 to build a dedicated indoor space within a garden so patients can be surrounded by the ones they love as they prepare to say goodbye. PICTURE: Mecha Morton

A target to raise £340,000 to build a special garden area for end-of-life patients at the West Suffolk Hospital has been launched.

The Butterfly Appeal is aimed at creating the Butterfly Garden as an exclusive private area so patients can spend some of their final days or hours with their loved ones with the My WiSH Charity behind the campaign.

One of the main features of the project will be an area for children to be able to play, pets can visit and memories to treasure can also be made at one of the most vulnerable time of patient’s lives.

Every day, around 25 patients will need the help of the end-of-life services at the hospital in Bury St Edmunds. Every year the palliative care team cares for more than 1,000 admissions.

The vision is to create a garden with a glass-fronted building which will be able to accommodate a patient in their bed. The area will allow the patient and their loved ones to spend quality time together, away from the hustle and bustle of the wards, as they prepare to say goodbye. It will provide an area for quiet contemplation, peaceful reflection and privacy for all.

The garden will be full of sensory plants and include a water feature. It will be specially designed to allow for easy movement of the patient in their bed, so they can also enjoy the outside space.

The building will have large glass doors which will open to make the space feel part of the garden. There will be calming light, music, a TV; everything needed to make it a comfortable environment for all.

The appeal has already gained support from several businesses and individuals across the West Suffolk area including the ICE Café, on the Rougham Industrial Estate, and Marks & Spencer have chosen My WiSH as their charity for 2020.

Sue Smith, head of fundraising at My WiSH, said: “We are so excited to finally be able to launch this appeal. We have spoken to many families and heard their stories. This is such a difficult time in people’s lives and it made us realise we needed to do something. The hospital is such a busy environment so we hope by offering this tranquil space it will make this time in their lives a little easier.

“For me, if my family member was going to pass away in the hospital, I know they would receive excellent care – I absolutely know that. But we need to be able to offer such a better environment for these people to spend their last days, hours or minutes surrounded by the people who love them.”

And Sally Daniels, appeal manager, said: “Staff members often have to break bad news in unsuitable rooms such as staff rooms. These are desperately sad conversations but this space will provide them with a quiet area where the nursing staff can talk to them without being disturbed. It’s so hard for those left behind. We hope that this space will provide them with time together to create special memories in their time of need.”

To support the appeal go to justgiving.com/campaign/butterfly or call 01284 713466. If you are a business and want My WiSH to be your charity of the year call Sally or Sue and they can arrange to come and have a chat.

Pictured above are palliative care nurses Marie Rees, Liz Eagles and Sam Hobson with head of fundraising Sue Smith, appeal manager Sally Daniels and Chester the poodle.

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