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Opening of the Second Dementia Garden
Attendees celebrate the opening of the second dementia garden.

November 23

Staff, dignitaries and volunteers gather to celebrate the opening of the second dementia-friendly garden

Staff, dignitaries and volunteers gathered to celebrate the opening of our second dementia-friendly garden on Saturday, November 18.

More than 50 people, including the Mayor of Chelmsford Duncan Lumley, Essex County Councillor John Spence, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, and a representative from the Friends at Broomfield Hospital, attended to mark the occasion at the ‘Live-Well Garden’, outside Baddow Ward. 

The new sensory garden, which builds on the huge success of the ‘Forget-Me-Not Garden’ at neighbouring Braxted Ward, provides a therapeutic outside environment for patients and visitors to enjoy. 

The garden was funded via charitable donations of £50,000. 

More than 40 volunteers, including many staff members, assisted with the construction of the garden over in excess of 220 hours throughout the summer.

In total, 50 tonnes of soil and shingle, plus thousands of plants have been moved. The garden was cleared and fully developed within the space of six months. 

Yvonne Carter, charities manager, said: “This demonstrates the value that ‘Our Charity’ adds to patient and carer experience around our trust and that we really couldn’t fund projects such as this one without the generosity of all those that support ‘Our Charity’.”

Elmarie Swanepoel, estates and facilities site manager, said: “We are keen to provide a high-quality environment for people with dementia whilst they are in hospital. The health benefits of spending time in therapeutic outside environments are well-documented and we are thrilled to be able to open this beautiful garden. 

“This garden, along with various other green spaces at the hospital, has only been made possible through charitable donations and will be maintained by our wonderful hospital garden volunteers. We are grateful for the generous support of everyone who has been involved with this project.”

The garden can be viewed from inside, within the central corridor of levels 2, 3 and 4 Zone C, West Wing. If you are walking down these routes, you can view this area alongside the first garden on the opposite side. 

For further information, please contact: 

Yvonne Carter, charities manager


01245 514559

Elmarie Swanepoel, estates and facilities site manager


01245 515230

Perometer Donation

November 1

Friends at Broomfield Hospital kindly donate £10,000 to help purchase equipment to measure limb volume

The Friends at Broomfield Hospital have kindly donated £10,000 to help fund a piece of equipment which is used to assess lymphoedema. 

On Wednesday, October 18, the perometer was installed at the St Andrews Centre gym and will benefit patients suffering from the chronic condition. The remainder of the almost £23,000 cost was met by the department. 

It assists clinicians to measure the swelling of the limb, caused by a collection of fluid in the body’s tissues. The condition develops when the lymphatic system, which helps to fight infection and remove excess fluid, does not work properly. It is often the result of cancer or cancer treatment. 

The perometer functions using photosensors and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with which the limb is illuminated and scanned. The actual measuring unit is installed in the frame, which is pushed over the limb.  

Following staff training, the perometer will now be brought into use. 

Mr Mat Griffiths, consultant plastic surgeon, said: “We are very grateful to the Friends at Broomfield Hospital, who have greatly assisted our fundraising efforts which will benefit patients by allowing our therapist, Annette Palmer, to measure limb volumes far more accurately and efficiently than by using a standard tape measure technique.”

Head and neck cancer fundraising event

October 17

Head and neck cancer team “overwhelmed by the generosity” of the patients, family members and friends who supported them to raise more than £7,500 through charity evening

The head and neck cancer team are “overwhelmed by the generosity” of the patients, family members and friends who supported them to raise more than £7,500 through their charity evening.

Held at the Danbury Sports and Social Centre on Saturday, September 23, the fundraising event was an opportunity to help bring patients together who have undergone operations for mouth cancer while enjoying music, food, a raffle and an auction.

The project was organised by members of the head and neck cancer team alongside patient Dwayne Watkin, who had a procedure to remove and reconstruct a large part of his tongue in March this year.

Dr Sarah Smailes, a physiotherapy consultant who helps patients to rehabilitate following operations for mouth cancer, said: “As you can imagine, a person’s ability to speak and swallow is affected by such an operation. After weeks in hospital Dwayne said that he would like to “do something” to thank all of the staff on Stock Ward at Broomfield for getting him through the surgery and making him better.

“Dwayne, Stock Ward nurse Leah Maskell and I talked about this and decided that we would hold a charity evening to help bring patients together who have had these huge disfiguring operations, raise much needed money to help future patients with mouth cancer and raise awareness of the disease.

“After months of planning, we held the first ever (in Essex) head and neck cancer charity evening, which was attended by more than 200 people. So many patients who have suffered with mouth cancer came to support each other and the cause. It was a humbling experience for all of us who work at the Broomfield head and neck cancer unit. I was overwhelmed by the generosity of so many patients, family members and friends to raise more than £7,500 in one evening – it was amazing.

“We plan to use the money to buy tablets so that people who cannot speak after their surgery will be able to communicate more easily and for equipment to make breathing more comfortable for patients with tracheostomies. We would also like to hold education evenings where patients can drop in for support and information about their operation and cancer, which will need money for refreshments.

“Thank you to all who supported the evening, especially Leah Maskell and Barbara Pires (Dwayne's nurses), Mr Fateh Ahmad and Miss Kallroi Tzafetta (Dwayne's plastic surgeons) who helped Dwayne and I so much in preparation and on the night.”

Mark Mitchell Donation

October 4

Son raises more than £600 for Danbury Ward in thanks to the “supportive, helpful and accommodating” staff who cared for his late mother

A son has raised £640 for Danbury Ward in thanks to the “supportive, helpful and accommodating” staff who cared for his late mother.

Mark Mitchell, 35, of Oakham, in Rutland, organised a golf day with other professionals from the insurance industry, with proceeds going to the ward, after losing his mother, Lillian Mitchell, to cancer on February 4.

He said: “My mum was on the ward for around three weeks, having fought cancer for almost two years, which were unfortunately her last.  My father and I spent four nights sleeping on the ward and saw first-hand the hard work, care and professionalism that went into caring for patients on the ward.

“It was particularly warming to hear that the ward had a particular piece of equipment - a bladder scanner - in mind for the money to go towards.  

“Having not had much direct exposure to the NHS previously, I have come to appreciate what an incredible institution it is and something to be truly proud of. Everyone my family and I dealt with or came into contact with during my mother's time there was incredibly supportive, helpful and accommodating. Danbury Ward and its staff should be truly proud of what they do for their patients day in, day out.”


Mark also thanked fellow golf day organisers Rob Pearman and Hugh Sprowson for their support.