MP opens a new ‘quiet room’ in Worthing Hospital
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert joined his constituency assistant Michelle Taylor for the official handover of a new quiet room in Worthing Hospital which her friends and family have created for the MDCU ward, on Thursday (21 June).
Nick and Michelle were joined by the hospital’s Chief Executive, Marianne Griffiths, Anne Hudson, Senior Sister on MDCU, and Rachel Harris, chemotherapy educational facilitator. The new room has been named ‘Martine’s Quiet Room’ and is dedicated to the memory of Michelle’s sister, Martine Barthram, who lost her battle to breast cancer in November 2013.
Fundraising for the quiet room took place at The South Lodge Hotel in July 2014. Martine’s friends, Claire Jordan, Jayne Heritage and Jackie Webb, had the idea of hosting a ball to fundraise for a lasting tribute. The ‘Martine Memorial Fundraiser’ event was supported by local businesses, family and friends and helped to raise over £10,000 on the night.
Their ambition was to create a special room at the hospital that would benefit chemotherapy patients. The room, formerly just a storage space for the MDCU ward, has now been transformed into a tranquil, non-clinical space that looks beautiful and feels comfortable.
The room was designed and completed by Michelle’s parents, Maurice and Sue Jones. It has a poignant butterfly theme and a nod to their daughter Martine’s sense of glamour through a specially commissioned painting by Brighton artist VeeBee. Finishing touches, such as china tea cups, soft music and dimmable lighting add to the therapeutic elements of the room.
The quiet room was officially handed over to the ward by the MP on Thursday afternoon. Michelle was also delighted to let the hospital know that they will be donating the remainder of the funds raised, an extra £1,000 for the ward.
The Martine Memorial Fundraiser trustees have also donated two hi-tech chemotherapy pumps to the unit, and made a £1,000 donation to Winston’s Wish, the charity which support bereaved children.
Anne Hudson, Senior Sister on the MDCU, said: “It’s absolutely stunning. I was completely blown away by how beautiful it all is and how much thought has gone into it. Our patients will be so happy to have such an amazing quiet space. I can’t tell you how grateful we all are.”
Michelle Taylor said: “On behalf of my family and Martine’s friends, we are so pleased that we have been able to create this room. We know how important it is to provide patients with a non-clinical space where they can sit a while. Some patients can get terribly anxious or distressed about having chemotherapy, and hopefully this room will bring them a sense of calm away from the noise and hubbub of the hospital.
“Anne Hudson has been wonderful throughout the process of creating the room, but the final design was kept a secret. It was a very special moment when we revealed the room to her for the first time. We all know the difference that Martine’s Quiet Room will make and it is a fitting tribute to someone who was beautiful and caring.
“I am so pleased that both Nick and Marianne Griffiths were able to join us to officially handover the room to the ward and to see for themselves what can be created in a small space. It will make the world of difference to patients.”
Nick Herbert said: “I was very touched that Michelle asked me to join the official handover of the new quiet room which she, her family and friends have made possible. It is both a lovely tribute to Martine and an initiative that will really help people at what is inevitably a very difficult time in their lives.
“I would like to congratulate everyone who has fundraised, given generously and helped to make this project possible, but especially Michelle who has worked so hard to bring it to fruition.”
1. Photograph: left to right – Rachel Harris, Michelle Taylor, Nick Herbert, Anne Hudson, Marianne Griffiths.