Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity ‘Remember Me’ dementia awareness garden was awarded a Silver-Gilt at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park on Tuesday.

The ‘Remember Me’ Garden, created by Jane Bingham and Penny Hearn of The Cheshire Garden, who worked tirelessly to build the garden in the two-week timeframe up to the judging day, when they were deservedly awarded the Silver-Gilt accolade. With sponsorship from 4YourHome part of the Qualtex Global Group and County Homesearch UK, Dixon, Rigby Keogh Solicitors and BNI Holmes Chapel generating essential funding, the garden was built to generate awareness about dementia and its effects amongst the people of Cheshire and their families.

Featured on BBC 2’s official TV coverage of the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park by presenter Toby Buckland, the dementia awareness Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity ‘Remember Me’ garden, has provoked thought and interest in a serious health concern, which is being addressed by the new ‘Everybody Knows Somebody’ dementia appeal. The creative implementation and usage of flowers and herbs has impressed visitors, in particular, how they have been used to express the degeneration of the mind, from bright, vivid snap dragons to white flowers representative of gaps in the mind and wild flowers to show confusion. Hospital beds with calming herbs and head boards with cut out flower features aimed to replicate the approach to how Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity will help to support the improvement for the dementia care in the Cheshire region.

Jane Bingham, The Cheshire Garden comments, “We could not be more thrilled with the feedback we have had from all our visitors and winning a Silver-Gilt is an amazing accolade we could not be more happy about.” Jane continues, “We are so proud that the Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity ‘Remember Me’ Garden has generated so much interest to raise awareness of the appeal. It’s a dream come true.”

Laura Riddle, Charity Manager, Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity states, “We are very grateful to Jane and Penny from The Cheshire Garden for all their hard work and dedication to help raise awareness for our ‘Everybody Knows Somebody’ Dementia Appeal.” Continuing on, “We would like to congratulate The Cheshire Garden for their amazing Silver-Gilt accolade, which they fully deserve, and could not have been achieved without the generous support from Qualtex and County Homesearch, our main sponsors, which we would also like to offer our sincere gratitude.”

Penny Hearn, The Cheshire Garden comments, “Winning this award is so exciting for everyone who has been involved in the creation of the Mid Cheshire Hospitals ‘Remember Me’ garden. The standard of the gardens this year has been phenomenal and we are so proud that our team’s work has been recognised. We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported us and contributed to making our design a reality.”

The ‘Remember Me’ Garden has proved to be a popular attraction at this years RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, with visitors engaging in discussion about the garden’s concept focusing on evoking memories, as well as reducing agitation and distress for people with dementia. The ‘Room of Inklings’, designed and built by international artist Wendy Connelly of RAW-I Studios, also created intrigue with the artefacts used to conjure nostalgia for the past and childhood memories.

Currently, there are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. In 2013/14 Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust cared for 1,382 patients, who had either dementia or a cognitive impairment. In 2014/15 this number increased to 1,941 patients and in 2015/16 the number rose again to 2,237 individuals with dementia or a cognitive impairment cared for at Leighton Hospital in Crewe, Cheshire. With statistics increasing, there is a demand to raise awareness about dementia to Cheshire families and advise them about the care available.

Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity raises funds to make a fantastic difference to patients, their families and staff at Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. From the moments leading from birth to the elderly, Mid Cheshire Hospitals supports all the family health needs in Mid and South Cheshire. Through fundraising activities, charitable donations, legacies and voluntary support, Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity aims to enhance the provision of first-class healthcare at Leighton Hospital (Crewe), Victoria Infirmary (Northwich) and Elmhurst Intermediate Care Centre (Winsford). The money raised by Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity contributes to projects such as funding state-of-the-art equipment and rebuilding and refurbishing parts of the Hospital.

Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity and the team behind the ‘Remember Me’ Garden would be grateful for your support of the ‘Everybody Knows Somebody’ Dementia Appeal, whether a local business, group or individual you can donate by visiting Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity here or contact Laura Riddle at 01270 273 248 or charity@mcht.nhs.uk.