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Fighting Disease

Rotary rainbow benches add splash of colour to hospital

Rotary rainbow benches add splash of colour to hospital

Rotarians in Devon have supported their local hospital in a colourful way by providing rainbow benches.

The two beautiful rainbow benches, a unique design made by an English company, are now on show at the North Devon District Hospital.

The benches have been sited at the Over and Above Fern Centre, the new Cancer and Wellbeing Centre at North Devon District Hospital.

They have been inscribed with the words ‘Thankful for our many pots of gold….Bideford Rotary 2020’

Bideford Rotary Club designed and financed the benches, supported by a Foundation District grant. Proof that Rotary’s work continues despite the pandemic.

Jacquie Willoughby, President of Bideford Rotary said that the club had funded the benches as a means of thanking the NHS staff for their work during the pandemic.

She said: “We wanted to do something special to bring a smile or two during this difficult time and rainbows have been a central theme.

“The benches are to remind NHS staff that they are appreciated for all they have done this year and continue to do every day, every week, every year – they are undoubtedly pots of gold!

“We also hope that patients and their friends and families who sit on these benches will find them uplifting. We want them to smile and be thankful for the good things in their lives, to bring focus to their personal pots of gold rather than on any disappointments.”

The benches are made of recycled plastic, which is how the colours can be so vibrant.

“Only yellow is a really difficult colour,” according to Ellen Fineran, Customer Services Manager of TDP Ltd who encouraged her company to make these special benches for Bideford Rotary.

“They are particularly durable and should last for at least 20 years’ maintenance free so will be a positive reminder of COVID-19 for many years to come.”

Jacquie Willoughby said she hoped more of these benches might appear at other hospitals around the country.

She added: “I would love to see these benches in every hospital around the country. They delight everyone who sees them, and they demonstrate our support for our community and the environment”

The Over and Above Fern Centre, home for the rainbow Rotary benches, is the new Cancer and Wellbeing Centre at North Devon District Hospital.

I would love to see these benches in every hospital around the country. They delight everyone who sees them, and they demonstrate our support for our community and the environment”

The centre has been designed to be a welcoming, relaxing environment where people diagnosed with cancer, their relatives and carers can come to access information and support away from the main hospital.

The centre offers a range of services that visitors can access such as counselling, complementary therapies, support groups, wig fitting clinics and financial advice.

Tasmin Andrew, Fern Centre Manager, said: “These beautiful benches donated by the Rotary Club will be perfect to offer visitors a comfortable place to relax surrounded by plants and wildlife in our new garden.”

Club members have already signed up to help dig and plant the garden in the Spring. The plans include a sensory garden with communal potting shed and quiet seating areas for our visitors to immerse themselves in nature.