New orchard opens at RBH thanks to community fundraiser


On Tuesday 6 June, Bournemouth Hospital Charity celebrated the official opening of the new Orchard Garden at Royal Bournemouth Hospital with a special ceremony.

A host of fundraisers, special guests and hospital staff were on hand to celebrate the completion of the Orchard Garden project, while patient and fundraiser Mr. Theo Yakimov cut the ribbon to declare officially the new development opened.

Today’s celebratory event is the culmination of over two years of fundraising, with hundreds of local people, community groups and businesses donating the £ 160,000 in funding needed to complete the project.

Designed to provide a tranquil space of relaxation and beauty for patients, visitors and staff, the Orchard Garden project transformed the previously unused and unattractive courtyard between the hospital’s Jigsaw building and the pathology department.

The area now includes a therapeutic garden courtyard connected by a sensory garden walkway to Hospital Lake, where a new wooden deck – designed to be fully accessible – provides a peaceful retreat space overlooking the water.

The garden has been significantly supported by the Dorset Cancer Care Foundation which administered a legacy of the late Betty Hyam, as well as the Tesco ‘Aid Bags’ program which raised £ 12,000 after local Tesco buyers voted to support the project at the cash desks.



Theo Iakimov, Dr Helen McCarthy, Paula Shobbrook and Debbie Anderson of Bournemouth Hospital officially declare Orchard Garden at Royal Bournemouth Hospital open

Over £ 35,000 of the total has been donated in memory of former patients who were never able to enjoy the benefits of the garden but received care during its construction.

Along with Mr Yakimov, Dr Helen McCarthy, Consultant Hematologist and Paula Shobbrook, Director of Nursing and Midwifery, shared the honor of cutting the ribbon to officially open the new Orchard Garden.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Bournemouth, Cllr. Lawrence Williams and Ms. Elaine Williams were also present.

Dr McCarthy believes this will help improve the inpatient experience during their hospital stay.

“A patient’s environment is a vital part of therapy and can have a really positive impact on their experience at what can be a frightening and difficult time in their life,” said Dr. McCarthy.

“Patients appreciate a quiet space to retreat between treatments and the new Orchard Garden will provide that. ”

Work began on the developments of the Orchard Garden project in June 2016 and was completed in early 2017.


Rebecca W. King

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