Thanks to donations and the amazing fundraising efforts of ward staff, over £2,800 has helped fund a dedicated space for families of patients on the Vascular Ward at Leeds General Infirmary.

Paula Stevens, Ward Clerk tells us the experience that inspired her to transform an old nurse’s office into a relative room, and how this has made a difference to families of patients.

“There was no safe haven on the ward for the families of patients who often receive difficult news or sometimes witness the sudden death of a loved one. There is one experience in particular that stands out to me, I helped comfort a woman who had sadly lost a loved one. She was hysterically sobbing and there was nowhere she could grieve in private and I felt a responsibility towards her. I spoke to our matron about my colleagues and I raising funds to help create a dedicated relative’s room on the ward and she thought it was a wonderful idea.”

Paula and her colleagues held fundraising activities throughout the year, including a Christmas raffle, with prizes generously donated from local business, an Easter ‘bake off’, and a calendar using photos from the staff Heroes and Villains Christmas party, which raised over £1,500 to help bring the project to life.

Paula continued, “The small box room we decided to renovate felt very clinical, it had no heating and no windows, but was quietly tucked away from the chaos of the ward and I saw some potential. We purchased two bed settee sofas with underneath storage which means that relatives have the option to sleep over. A radio with Bluetooth, a floor lamp, a small fridge, a kettle and a coffee machine. A local artist also very generously donated artwork.”

“Our incredible family room is finally finished but sadly due to the pandemic we haven’t had a grand opening. However, it has been used by several grieving relatives and I am proud to say have had a comfortable stay, we’ve had some wonderful feedback from loved ones who have been appreciative of the care and support they’ve received.”