Leeds print company Imageco have installed a touching tribute and decorated social space for young patients of the Bexley Wing in St James’s University Hospital (part of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust), Leeds. The space was launched on Wednesday 14th November and is now open for use for St James’ patients.
Thanks to generous donations and fundraising by family and friends of patients of the hospital, the St James’s staff were able to plan and renovate an old day room. Previously, the day room was unused, dated and had nothing for the young patients to do during their time at St James’s University Hospital.
The space, titled The Cabin, will provide a safe, woodland-themed space for young patients to relax, make friends and remain creative. Richard Baker, Clinical Director for Abdominal Medicine and Surgery, says: “The ward understands the importance of having these environments for young adults. We recognise their needs as they transition between childhood to adulthood.”
The room simultaneously acts as tribute to Naomi Lyth, a past patient of St James’s and the daughter of the family who heavily funded the installation. At the opening of The Cabin, family, friends and former nurses of Naomi were touched to find her art and poetry decorating the room.
Anokh Goodman, Young Persons Key Worker (Liver Services) at St James’s, explained that the project was propelled into reality by Naomi’s family, whose generosity and fundraising efforts helped to implement the safe space for young patients.
“We saw money pooled into clinical care but little into the social side. We suggested the donation go towards this because we saw Naomi struggle with the transition between paediatric and adult care,” Naomi’s father said. Hospital staff agreed the donation should be used to allow patients an escape from the clinical reality of hospital life.
St James’ Hospital sought the help of Imageco to design and install an exciting and engaging creative space. Anokh’s goal was to create a comfortable, homely environment where patients could read, be creative and engage with family and friends. Woodland designs were chosen by patients and installed on all four walls of the social area. The windows were decorated with a frosting that gives the illusion of natural light shining through trees.
“Hospital can be isolating,” Anokh says. “The Cabin encourages and builds a pleasant, relaxing recovery. The youngsters can now engage and interact with their fellow patients away from the clinical environment.”