Read wall about it: families and supporters gather to admire Lister Hospital mural celebrating neonatal unit’s dedicated care

PUBLISHED: 11:17 09 May 2016

Lister Hospital, Stevenage: new mural at the entry to the neo-natal unit, funded by the families group set up to support those who need the unit's specialist services
Pictured left to right are artists Yoshie Allan and Sarah Bellisario (Sarah&Yosh), neo-natal matron Lisa Partridge, outgoing families group chair Camilla Hamilton and incoming chair Glyn Doggett

Lister Hospital, Stevenage: new mural at the entry to the neo-natal unit, funded by the families group set up to support those who need the unit's specialist services Pictured left to right are artists Yoshie Allan and Sarah Bellisario (Sarah&Yosh), neo-natal matron Lisa Partridge, outgoing families group chair Camilla Hamilton and incoming chair Glyn Doggett

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Families who supported a project to brighten up the entrance to the neonatal ward at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital gathered to celebrate the completion of the project – and spot the names of the tiny tots which have been included in the finished work.

Lister Hospital, Stevenage: new mural at the entry to the neo-natal unit, funded by the families group set up to support those who need the unit's specialist servicesLister Hospital, Stevenage: new mural at the entry to the neo-natal unit, funded by the families group set up to support those who need the unit's specialist services

The mural project was overseen by the volunteers of the Lister Neonatal Unit Families Group, which is made up of parents whose new arrivals received crucial care on the unit.

In August last year they called on families to submit the names of children, however long ago they had been patients, to be added to the design in return for a donation to the neonatal unit.

In all, more than 200 names have been incoporated into the wall – raising £6,500.

Camilla Hamilton, who helped set up the group and has recently stepped down from her role as chair, said: “We always knew there would be a positive response but never could have imagined how quickly the word spread, how enthusiastic people would all be, and how generous.

“The mural really does feel like a celebration of the work of the unit and the lives of the babies cared for there.”

Hitchin-based illustration and design duo Sarah Bellisario and Yoshie Allan created the work, aiming to produce an artwork “which allows as many people as possible who pass through the unit to find something in it which relates to them.”

The 40ft mural has transformed a bleak corridor with a design that includes a female mother figure with outstretched arms – coming from her hands is a stream of flowers carrying the names of the children.

Now the group has taken on a new project, creating a garden area for families to use during their time at the hospital.

The group’s new chair Glyn Doggett, whose son Max was in the unit in 2013 after weighing less than three pounds when born nearly three months early, said: “The launch was a lovely chance to meet other parents who have been through what we have been through and hear their stories.

“We had many really touching comments from families who praised the amazing support of the unit which will be posted online soon on our website.”

Find out more about the group and how you can get involved in its work at www.listerneonatalunitfamiliesgroup.org.

For more on the designers who created the mural, visit www.sasandyosh.com.

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