Family still giving 100 years on

PATIENTS and staff at the award-winning Felixstowe Community Hospital have a new £10,000 garden to enjoy - thanks to a generous gift from the family of the man who built it.

PATIENTS and staff at the award-winning Felixstowe Community Hospital have a new £10,000 garden to enjoy - thanks to a generous gift from the family of the man who built it.

Noreen Croydon donated the money to the hospital in honour of her family - she is by marriage a descendant of Charles Croydon, who in 1909 paid to help set up the original Croydon Cottage Hospital, as it was then known.

As she unveiled a commemorative plaque, she said she was “happy and proud” to see the new garden and the way the building had been modernised.

She said: “It has grown into something solid today which is going to go forward, and I just hope this garden will give everyone some pleasure whether they are here for a long or a short stay and help their recovery.”

The garden, designed by Steve Henley and built by Mike Osborne, John Savage and Stuart Brooks, will be used by nursing staff on their breaks, and patients and visitors to enjoy the fresh air, and is formal with aromatic plants, roses, lawn areas, benches and climbing plants to hide fences.

Alastair McWhirter, chairman of NHS Suffolk, the county's primary care trust, which completed a £1.76 million refurbishment of the hospital earlier this year, said everyone was thrilled with the garden.

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He said: “I love to see buildings reinvigorated and it is lovely to see this hospital revitalised and modernised for the people of Felixstowe and the surrounding area.”

Dr Alan Wimhurst, president of Felixstowe League of Friends, said: “We are extremely grateful to a very generous person for her donation to the hospital.

“I am sure everyone at the hospital will benefit from the garden, so our thanks come from everyone who will enjoy it for many years to come.

“The L-shaped garden has been carefully designed with lots of shrubs to make it beautiful but low maintenance and a gardener will be employed to regularly maintain the garden by the league of friends.”

Do you like the garden? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk