Wellbeing gardens opened at Lister in memory of much-loved colleague Marilyn

Bob Goodhew opens Marilyn's memory garden

Marilyn Goodhew’s husband Bob opens a Lister Hospital wellbeing garden which has been built in his late wife’s memory - Credit: East & North Herts NHS Trust

A wellbeing garden for NHS staff has opened at Lister Hospital in Stevenage in memory of a much-loved colleague, who sadly passed away last year from motor neurone disease.

Marilyn’s Memorial Garden for Staff Wellbeing has opened in honour of senior health play specialist Marilyn Goodhew, who worked at East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust for more than 25 years before her retirement in 2016.

The memory garden has opened in memory of Marilyn Goodhew

The memory garden has opened in memory of Marilyn Goodhew, pictured prior to her retirement in 2016 - Credit: East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

Marilyn was the driving force behind the team’s Magic of Play Appeal which saw a new playroom built on the children’s ward, but also had ambitions to create an outdoor space nearby for paediatric staff to enjoy.

Sadly Marilyn was not able to see this dream become a reality but, thanks to generous community donations and businesses offering their services, the garden is now open.

Marilyn’s husband Bob did the honours, cutting a ribbon to declare the garden open as staff and those who built it watched on earlier this month.

The completed memorial garden at Lister Hospital which paediatric staff can now enjoy

The completed memorial garden at Lister Hospital which paediatric staff can now enjoy - Credit: East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust


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Lister-based health play specialist Ruby Gill, both a colleague and a friend to Marilyn, said: “Marilyn always wanted to create a space that could be enjoyed by paediatric staff at Lister Hospital.

“When Marilyn passed away last July after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease, I decided it was time to honour Marilyn’s wish and complete this garden in her memory.

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"The play specialist and paediatric teams are so thankful to those who have played their part to make this project a reality.

“Everyone involved has done an absolutely amazing job, generously providing materials and their time for free.

“I hope the staff here can enjoy this space for many years to come, remembering Marilyn and taking moments to relax and enjoy having our very own outdoor space.”

Donations and work by Stevenage businesses and individuals helped make Marilyn's vision a reality

Donations and work by Stevenage businesses and individuals helped make Marilyn's vision a reality - Credit: East and North Herts NHS Trust

The project was kick-started with support from Stevenage People for People founder Kenny Arnold and patrons of the community group, with Andy O’Keefe and his brothers John, James and Jeremiah designing and landscaping the garden.

They received help from Stevenage-based Steven Wise of Wise Scaffolding, Michael Notschild of Own Homes, Tracey Lingley of Beloved Baskets, Gibbs & Dandy, Watts Roofing, and ACS Aggregates, as well as Perfect Artificial Lawns and Joseph Rochford Gardens in Hertford.

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