Community garden at Leicester Hospital 12

ICU patient garden already making a difference

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On Wednesday 5 July 2022, Andrew, Senior Reporting Specialist at PA Housing was joined by some work colleagues and family friends as he attended the opening of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Patient Garden at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. 

This is something that he has been raising funds for since his late wife, Laila, passed away in March 2021. 

In total, £3,100 (from Andy’s side alone) was raised for the garden by family and friends, PA Housing, the PA Resident Committee, and one of our contractors. This was alongside donations from other families who had lost loved ones in the ICU. One of which had also made a large donation, and they were in attendance too.  

The money raised has gone towards a courtyard in the Balmoral Section of the hospital that has been made into a garden for use by families, patients, and staff. Patients have already been brought out to the garden (along with their medical equipment and medical teams to monitor them whilst outside) to experience fresh air, which is known to aid their recovery.   

The garden consists of a paved area with plants, trellis, arches and benches, raised flower beds, seating, and a sculpture by renowned artist Peter Randall-Page. Most of the work in the garden was done free of charge, with further additions planned for the area, including plaques in memory of the two people lost by Andy and the other family. 

The ceremony started with a heartfelt speech by Zoe Bradley, Sister Charge Nurse, followed by another from Sharon Williams, the ICU Matron, and a poem that had been written by David Mathers, Bereavement Support Nurse. After that, there was a buffet lunch held in the courtyard. 

This event was also an opportunity for the group to meet the teams of doctors and nurses from the unit – amazing human beings working in a difficult and challenging environment. Doctor Briggs from the unit, who was assigned to Laila on the night she died, thanked Andy and PA for the donations to make the garden possible.  

One of the key organisers and designers of the garden, Zoe Bradley, provided the following comment: 

“I feel emotional, because of what this garden will do for our patients and what it means to the families who came to join us today. They have been instrumental in making the project possible. It was my crazy idea, but we needed it. Florence Nightingale herself was a huge advocate of outdoor space in healthcare and many old hospitals are built around courtyards. This was a space that we felt we could do something special with, so that we could use it to its full potential. The project has taken more than two and a half years to reach completion. It has involved University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) colleagues including Estates and Facilities, Arts and Heritage, and Organ Donation teams. Plus, Leicester Hospitals Charity, PA Housing, and the hospital’s volunteers. It’s evidence of what is achievable when we all pull together. It’s been a huge effort and it belongs to everyone.”

Zoe Bradley


Members of the Leicester Hospitals Charity team (who PA are now in partnership with) were also present. For Andy, it was certainly an afternoon to remember, with the garden now ready after two years of collaborative work with Zoe, Sharon, the charity team.


Sunita Patel, Head of Corporate and Community Fundraising at Leicester Hospitals Charity, said:   

“We’re so pleased and grateful for all the gifts we received to make this garden happen. This is a great example of what can be achieved when someone has a great idea that benefits patients’ care. We are always keen to hear from our colleagues and the community about their ideas to improve the care they receive when they have their treatment or visit Leicester’s hospitals. Thanks to your generosity and support, we can turn those ideas into reality by implementing changes to the spaces available to patients, improving the care they get, and bringing some comfort to patients and their families at a time that can be very stressful. There is no doubt that this garden will have an incredibly positive impact on our staff, patients, and their families going forward.”

Sunita Patel

A huge heartfelt thank you to all those at PA Housing and beyond who have helped support this wonderful project!

Thank you