A GARDEN of remembrance has opened at a hospital to give staff a place to remember their colleagues and friends.

Broomfield Hospital opened the impressive garden area after four months of planning.

The garden was developed by head of hospital grounds and gardens, Richard Hughes and funded through Mid and South Essex Hospitals Charity with support from NHS Charities Together and the Captain Sir Tom Moore fund.

A tree has also been planted in memory of Capt Tom, who £38.9million for the NHS Covid-19 Appeal. The planting took place on Friday, which would have been his 101st birthday.

Richard said it has been a “privilege” to create the garden.

He added: “This is an area to remember NHS staff and for all NHS colleagues to visit and feel extremely proud of the work they have done. It’s been a real privilege to help create this garden and bring it to life, celebrating life.”

The grounds and garden team at Broomfield chose an area linking to the staff health and well-being area.

Clare Panniker, chief executive for Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust said: “This is a stunning garden and is a real thank you to all our clinical and non-clinical NHS colleagues for their incredible effort over the last year and beyond. It will make a real positive difference to our staff at Broomfield.”

The main entrance to the garden welcomes staff with a metal arch and the words “Our Heroes 2020”. The garden is also home to two sculptures, specially commissioned from the Serbian sculptor Bojan Krstic, representing people comforting one other.

Susan Malam, lead chaplain at Broomfield, who blessed the space ahead of its opening, said: “This is a beautiful, peaceful area that offers staff a perfect place for quiet reflection and contemplation. The sense of calm allows for space to remember and peace in which to hold hope.”

During the coronavirus pandemic a total of 2,382 people have lost their lives at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Broomfield Hospital as well as Southend and Basildon Hospitals.