18 May 2020

Beautifully painted stones are to be laid in gardens at Shropshire’s two acute hospitals as a lasting memory of those who have died due to COVID-19.

The memory stones will be placed in the Queen Mother’s Garden at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, and the garden near the Paul Brown Building at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

A collection of stones have been donated to the End of Life Care (EOLC) team at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) which runs both hospitals.

Debbie Snooke, End of Life Care specialist nurse at SaTH, said: “The memory stones were originally introduced as part of the children’s bereavement bags. It was then suggested by Jules Lewis, our End of Life Care Facilitator, that we place a memory stone for every life lost due to COVID 19 in a relevant hospital garden.

“I have two very special friends who have very kindly donated lots of beautiful memory stones which they have hand painted and varnished for us. It has been very kindly agreed by the Trust that we will be allowed to place them in the gardens at SaTH.”

Jules said: “Last week was Dying Matters Week when we encouraged conversation about death and dying – and also find ways to help families at the hardest of times. These memory stones will be laid as a poignant reminder of those who have died during this pandemic and will hopefully help bring some comfort to their families.”

Julia Clarke, Director of Corporate Services at SaTH, said: “Our EOLC team has been looking at ways to help families who have been bereaved, and this is a touching way to remember those who have sadly lost their lives during this pandemic.”