The sun will always shine in hospital garden thanks to new mural artwork

The mural on the walls of the ITU garden at the William Harvey Hospital

Published on 11 September 2020

Patients can enjoy sunshine on even the dullest day thanks to a new mural at the William Harvey Hospital.

The huge landscape, complete with rolling hills, lavender fields, trees, blue skies, butterflies and a stream, was created over seven days by locally based street artist team Hello Murals. 

It is the latest addition to the hospital’s courtyard garden specifically for patients on the intensive care unit to enjoy.

Mark Snazelle, East Kent Hospitals’ critical care lead, said the garden had huge benefits for patients. 

He said: “The garden is a space where some of the sickest patients in the hospital can enjoy some fresh air and the feeling of sun on their skin.

“It really is an oasis for our patients, their families and staff, and provides a quiet space away from the bustle of the ward.

“The mural is a fantastic addition and means there will always be something to look at, even in winter when the skies may be grey and the plants have lost their summer colour.

“We are hugely grateful to the artists, Sam Giles and Jack Cant, as well as Sister Natalie Daly who has been fantastic at leading the fundraising efforts and co-ordinating all the work.” 

The area was funded by grants from the Friends of the William Harvey Hospital as well as East Kent Hospitals Charity, with some of the money raised by staff in the unit. The mural was paid for with money donated to the hospital charity from visitors to the Garden of Light installation at Ashford shopping centre McArthurGlen.

Other donations to the garden project came from Tesco Bags of Help, Frank Brake Charitable Trust Fund, and Aviva Community Fund. 

As well as the plants and landscaping, a door had to be widened and a ramp installed, allowing patients who are bed-bound to access the garden.

Dee Neligan, fundraising and development officer for East Kent Hospitals Charity, said: “It’s been wonderful to watch the garden develop, from a neglected space to a beautiful tranquil area that is so valuable to our patients, their families and our staff.

“We were overwhelmed with the response from visitors to the Garden of Light at the McArthurGlen Ashford Designer Outlet and our own garden is now a truly magical space for everyone to enjoy.”