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Stoke retirement community opens new memorial garden

21st July 2023

Sanctuary Supported Living

Craig Moule and members of staff at Baskeyfield House in the new memorial garden at Baskeyfield house stood under some purple balloons with one of them cutting a purple ribbon

Residents and staff at Baskeyfield House retirement community in Middleport have celebrated the official opening of a new memorial garden.

The garden was opened at a Hawaiian-themed event on Tuesday 18 July, with residents and staff attending, as well as Craig Moule, Group Chief Executive of Sanctuary and Dave Shaw, Director for Sanctuary Supported Living.

The memorial garden project initially began at Sanctuary Supported Living’s Baskeyfield House in 2021, after residents at the retirement community said that they would like to have somewhere peaceful to sit and remember their loved ones, friends and neighbours lost during the Covid pandemic.

Dave Wright, Sanctuary’s Property Services Staff Supervisor for Stoke, felt really connected to the project and decided to take it on by himself. He applied to Sanctuary’s Community Investment fund, aimed at supporting community initiatives which make a difference to residents’ lives. He was granted £3,000 worth of materials, to help make the memorial garden a reality, and residents also donated an additional £200, which was used to buy flowers and plants.

Dave completed the work in his own time, in addition to his full-time day job, to ensure the new memorial garden looked as good as possible. As well as working on the garden itself, Dave, who enjoys metalwork as a hobby, also created a variety of metal sculptures and arches for the flower beds, using recycled metal - working with Sanctuary’s values around sustainability in mind. This included a tree, which was upcycled from a metal bin, which features copper leaves engraved with the names of residents who have died, as a focal point for remembrance.

During the celebration event, Craig Moule presented Dave Wright with an ‘Outstanding Contribution’ award, in recognition of his hard work and dedication to the project.

The official ribbon-cutting opening ceremony was led by resident Bob Hamilton, whose wife Jean sadly passed away shortly after they moved into the retirement community, and whose name features on the memorial tree.

"Having a dedicated place to remember people who have passed away has been a great comfort to residents who’ve lost family and friends"

Helen Miron, Registered Retirement Living Manager

Dave Wright said: “I’m very glad to see the residents’ memorial garden officially opened. It’s taken a lot of work, and I'd like to thank my colleagues Trevor Jones and Douglas Edwards, who gave their time to help near the end - it was most appreciated. It’s been so worth it, to spend time with Baskeyfield House residents and see how much joy it’s brought to them already. Many of them have told me how much it has brightened up the area and become a lovely, calm space for relaxation and reflection.”

Helen Miron, Retirement Living Manager at Baskeyfield House, added: “I’m so pleased with how the garden project has grown and developed, and very grateful to Dave for all his hard work and his commitment to the residents at Baskeyfield House. Having a dedicated place to remember people who have passed away has been a great comfort to residents who’ve lost family and friends. It has also been a delight to see people enjoying using the garden so much, and I’m sure we’ll be holding many more garden parties from now on!”

Joe Leighton, Community Investment Officer for Sanctuary said: “We are so lucky to have people like Dave who will go above and beyond in support of residents. The work he has done has transformed the garden into a space to remember loved ones which I am sure all the residents will appreciate for years to come. The project was funded in collaboration with our supply chain partner Travis Perkins, so I want to say thank you to them for their support.”

Baskeyfield House offers one or two-bedroom apartments with communal facilities and an onsite care team, providing comfort, independence and peace of mind for people aged over 55, or those with long-term care and support needs. To find out more about life at Sanctuary Supported Living’s retirement communities, read about our property options or search for a property near you.

For more information about Sanctuary’s Community Investment fund, including eligibility and how to apply, visit the Community Investment page.

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