Patients, visitors and staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital can now enjoy time in a verdant new garden thanks to the kind and generous support of the Benyon family.
The idea to transform the old concrete courtyard into peaceful haven came when the family spent time visiting their father Lord William Benyon, while he was being cared for at the hospital.
Welcoming the Benyon family, and other distinguished guests to the official opening, Trust Chair Graham Sims said: “This really is a tranquil oasis in a very busy hospital and we are incredibly grateful to the Benyons for their help and support.
“The old courtyard was in need of a complete renovation and members of the family worked together with the Royal Berks Charity to design and create the Englefield Garden to provide a relaxing and restorative sanctuary for patients, visitors and staff.”
The culmination of the hard work has resulted in a garden where wheelchair friendly paths weave their way through comfortable seating areas and raised flower beds containing a variety of fragrant plants. A striking water feature with a diving figure sculpture, created by Sophie Dickens – the great granddaughter of Charles Dickens, makes an eye catching focal point.
Jennifer Benyon said: “I wanted to create an outside space where people could take their cup of tea from the café and enjoy some privacy and peacefulness; somewhere to have a quiet moment within the tranquillity of a garden.”
Charity Director, Ian Thomson said: “The garden’s renovation wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing support from the Englefield Estate. It is a fitting tribute to Sir William. The old garden was in much need of love and attention and Jennifer and her team have made a huge difference. It will be an area used by many of our patients and visitors, as well as for staff who will welcome a place to go to relax during breaks.”
7 September 2018