Thank you for visiting my fundraising page. I started this page with the intention of running the Great Bristol 10k with my great friend and fellow nurse Ashley Brown to raise money for Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity last year. We wanted to use the money raised for ‘Russell’s Garden’ - the Baby Memorial Garden at the Royal Surrey.
The run didn’t go ahead due to the pandemic, and the plans were put on the back burner while we focused on working through covid.
Then this year I was put in touch with Victoria who also has the same goals, to give the garden the attention and care it deserves to make it a beautiful, colourful and special place all year round.

Our plans have also evolved to include a peer support group of volunteers to get together to maintain the garden, as well as raising money for some new things to put there. The pandemic has made worse what can already be such an isolating experience, we hope to bring people together (in a covid safe way) to work towards a positive and practical goal of giving the garden the care it deserves. There is plenty of evidence to show that gardening can help with grief and improve mental health. We hope that combined with the gentle support and understanding of other volunteers, that this will bring some comfort when it may be needed.

At the moment the garden is run down and overgrown, and looks like it needs some love!

I have a wish list which includes the following items which I am raising money to buy for the garden;

Bird bath, bird house and feeders, bee/insect house and a bird table -
a close connection with nature can help with grief. Some people take comfort from seeing Robins in particular as they are often seen as a sign a loved one is near.

Raised planter for a pebble swap -
Painted stones can be taken home by parents or exchanged for a pebble with their baby's name on to stay in the garden. This can help families keep a part of the memorial garden and create a connection with home.

Jizo Statue -
Japanese Buddist statues believed to be protectors of children and unborn babies.

Wind Chimes -
To create a soothing sound as well as hopefully distracting from traffic noise.

Carefully selected plants and pots -
Rosemary is the traditional herb of remembrance
Lavender for its calming scent
Blackberry bush for its white flowers in spring and to encourage wildlife
Jasmine (flower of memories) and wildflowers (including Daisies which are a symbol of innocence) to encourage bees and butterflies to the garden.

There are more plants including climbers for the existing trellis which I would hope to include.

All existing statues, name plates and personal things will be carefully preserved and will be treated with the utmost respect, not being moved or disturbed in any way.

This little corner of the hospital grounds is of great importance to people in their time of need. Together we can help the garden become a beautiful, comforting place to visit all year round.

Please share with friends and family on Facebook and Twitter – and elsewhere – so I can reach my target and together we can help Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity do more. Thank you! Emma McKay