The newly updated garden at Crewkerne Hospital was officially opened by Marcus Fysh MP. The garden is called Penny’s Garden in memory of Penny Studley, a nurse who died of cancer while in service. Speaking on behalf of Penny’s family, her son Lloyd said they were overwhelmed that three years after her death, Penny was still remembered with such love and affection. He was pleased that so many colleagues and friends were able to attend the opening and thought the garden was a wonderful tribute to his mother.

Former matron Bernie Edwards said Penny was a fabulous nurse, caring and considerate and much loved by patients and colleagues. The League of Friends of Crewkerne Hospital agreed to support the project when they first heard about the idea from Rebecca Miskin, then matron of the hospital in September 2015. League secretary Teresa Bond produced a report on the state of the gardens and proposals for updating it which were put to the committee and members for consideration.

The Trust Estates team obtained an estimate for the first stage of replacing the uneven paving with a suitable non-slip level floor, which was approved in October 2016 but took a long time to be installed. When former matron Michelle Rowe joined the team, she met with the Estates Team, chose furniture in consultation with staff members and found someone to make the tool gate. The League of Friends sourced a decorative leaf bowl, pots and plants and chairman Ron Bond, secretary Teresa Bond and Michelle and her family planted up the garden in June.

Although the garden has been in use throughout the summer, there were a few snags to sort out before the official opening which took place at the weekend. Chairman Ron Bond welcomed over 40 people and thanked Marcus Fysh MP for attending. Marcus was delighted to be given the opportunity to open the garden and unveil the plaque with the garden’s new name of Penny’s Garden.

Penny Studley was recruited by staff nurse Noreen Riggs. Noreen said: “Off duty, Penny loved sewing and quilting. With this garden we hope to emulate her passion for colour, structure, form and individual creativity. She recognised that every patient is unique, so we hope every season will be represented as this garden will be tended by different patients as time goes on.” Staff members past and present enjoyed catching up at the official opening of Penny’s Garden and appreciated the cakes provided by League members while enjoying a hot cuppa indoors after the ceremony.

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