Serenity Garden at Hawkesbury Hospital provides escape from clinical environment

THE fabulous Monet-inspired mural in Hawkesbury Hospital’s new Serenity Garden is faithful to the actual garden, the Hawkesbury’s mayor said at the garden’s opening. 

“I have to congratulate most wholeheartedly the students of Richmond High School for their amazing mural of blues and greens reminiscent of a Monet painting,” Mayor Mary Lyons-Buckett said. “It is both calming and captivating. Having seen this garden last year in Paris  I can truthfully say that this is an excellent replica.”

The new garden between the Maria Lock and Florence Risbey wards, was opened on November 27 as a place of refuge for patients, families and caregivers.

The Lions Club of the Hawkesbury’s also presented their cheque for $20,000 to the hospital towards the cost of setting up the garden.

CEO Strephon Billinghurst thanked all those who had helped create the garden. 

“It is wonderful to see the sun shining, the flowers blooming and hear the sounds of birds in this new garden space,” he said. “Today is a wonderful occasion to acknowledge the creative and hard work of many of the community and caregivers who have designed and nurtured this space.”

Director of Mission Lisa Connell made clear the garden’s function, to “bring serenity, joy and peace to all those who enter”. “The vision to see the benefits to our patients with dementia, elderly patients, those nearing the end of life – to touch, smell and see beauty, feel the breeze on their face – and the healing ability of engaging with nature is what inspired us all,”  she said.

She presented certificates of appreciation to Richmond High art teachers Simon Wyatt and Kim Jones and to the Year 10 students who painted the mural – Chevelle Matthews, Keira Elias and (absent) Elske Barker.

Mr Wyatt said “we were keen not to do a typical high school mural”. “We handed them the paint and said ‘get started’, and I ducked in and out of the room as they worked over a couple of days, and this is what they came up with.

“I am extremely proud of them, as they have done a really fantastic job, and especially given that they are only in Year 10, and they have another couple of years ahead of them.”

Lions Club member Roger Sherrington talked about the means by which they raised the $20,000 for the garden, including auctioning a didgeridoo donated by the hospital’s Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer Vicki Thom.

Ms Thom was involved in arranging the Aboriginal artwork featured in the garden, painted by the Mad Mob. 

Following the official ceremony the United Hospital Auxiliary Hawkesbury Branch volunteers hosted a beautiful high tea with home-made delights.