A garden dedicated to the memory of our former colleague Caroline Evans has been officially opened.
Caroline's family, friends and NHS colleagues gathered to remember her at the official opening at Penrith Hospital.
The ceremony saw Caroline’s husband Tim, and daughters Laura and Louisa cut a ribbon to open the flower-filled corner of the hospital grounds where staff can now enjoy a place to take breaks and reflect on an inspirational leader and friend.
Caroline initially worked as an Occupational Therapist and rose to become associate director of operations for the county’s Partnership NHS Foundation Trust community care group. She was kind, caring and patient-focused throughout her career and always passionate about staff well-being.
Caroline was also at the heart of implementing the Integrated Care Communities (ICCs) but retired due to ill health and died last year, aged 56.
The garden was made possible through contributions at her funeral which were given, by the family, to the Penrith District Nurses’ team in gratitude for the care they gave Caroline during her last illness.
Proceeds from an open day held by friends to celebrate Caroline’s life also went towards the cause.
Planting includes a Caroline rose and wildflowers, which she especially loved. The family also donated a bench where staff can sit and enjoy the garden.
Linda Graham, Team Lead with Penrith District Nurses and the driving force behind the garden project, thanked everyone involved with its creation.
She said: “We hope the garden will be a fitting tribute to a lady who had a positive impact on so many people in both her professional and personal life.”
Vanessa Connor, associate dierctor of operations for community services at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Trust said:
"I would like Linda's hard work to be recognised, thank you Linda, the garden is amazing and the day was wonderful!
The garden has absolutely been a labour of love from many people who loved and respected Caroline. The garden is an oasis of calm and tranquillity that will provide a space for staff and patients to relax and enjoy the outdoors for many years to come.
Caroline was an inspirational leader who embodied the NHS values. She was kind, compassionate, patient focused and had a wicked sense of humour. Her legacy is the fantastic community services that we have today, those of us who knew her continue to be inspired and motivated by her and her spirit continues to be cascaded throughout the care group.
The garden opening was a lovely opportunity to remember Caroline and to appreciate the hard work that has gone into creating befitting of Caroline. it was wonderful to share the day with so many of her family, friends and colleagues."
Credit for photos of ribbon cutting and group photo: Cumberland and Westmorland Herald