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View of Dorset garden used in fundraising event for UHD NHS Charity

Open your glorious garden to spring into action for your local hospitals

By Latest News
View of Dorset garden used in fundraising event for UHD NHS Charity

Gather your best buds, family and community for a garden get-together to help your local hospitals go above and beyond for patients across Dorset.

In Dorset, we are lucky enough to have some amazing gardens that add colour to our lives. So, University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity is inviting everyone to open their green space between May and September to help raise vital funds to help our NHS staff and patients to flourish.

Gardens and outdoor spaces provide the perfect place to build community connections while enhancing people’s wellbeing.Some party hosts simply throw open their garden gates to invite their neighbours for an afternoon tea or morning coffee, making new friends. Others come together for a lovely BBQ, friendly bake-off, a plant and produce sale or even just a sunshine filled picnic.

Holding these events is a blooming marvellous way to celebrate a shared love of the outdoors while raising funds for our local hospitals.

Community fundraiser for University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity, Janine Golding is “very excited to call garden lovers across Dorset to open up their green spaces” this spring and summer to show their support for our local hospitals.

Janine said: “Outdoor spaces provide us with the perfect place to socialise and relax, so using them to raise vital funds for the thousands of patients who depend on our hospitals care every day is truly special.

“Everyone can get involved by planning something wonderful in whatever space they have. It does not need to be grand or complicated. Just invite some friends over, host a small garden party and ask them to give what they can.

“Every donation plants a seed of change that will flourish into making a difference for communities across Dorset. ”

Every penny that your glorious gardens and guests raise enables University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity to fund projects and equipment that go beyond what the NHS funds.

Garden owners and guests taking part can rake in support for the ward or project of their choice, sending the funds to a cause close to their heart.

Sign up to open your glorious garden this year by emailing or phone us on 0300 019 8449/

You can also get a fundraising pack to promote your event to friends and neighbours on our website,

Additional information about our Glorious Open Gardens initiative is available here:

New fleet of iPads for patients recovering from strokes, all raised in memory of missed mum

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In April, James Keith from Bournemouth unveiled a flock of iPads and rehabilitation technology on Royal Bournemouth Hospital’s stroke ward in honour of his late mum, Beverley.

The iPads funded through James’ generous donations will help families connect via FaceTime with their loved ones receiving care on the stroke ward. They also come equipped with specialised rehabilitation apps, games and audiobooks to help patients feel less isolated during their recovery process.

Strokes can cause weakness or paralysis on one side of the body, and can result in problems with coordination, dexterity and balance. So, each device is attached to individual carts for easy transportation, rotation and adjustment for all users.

They also all carry a tribute to Beverley in the form a blue sticker reading: ‘With love, from Bev.’

James said: “It felt a little overwhelming at first but it was amazing to finally see the real benefits and difference the pieces of technology will have on future patients.

“The plan was always to help combat patient loneliness, and after speaking with the ward, we decided to use the funds I raised on some kitted-out iPads,”

“Family members who may not be able to be there in person can now access important information sharing, watch and encourage loved ones as they have their physical rehabilitation sessions. Or at the very least, family and friends can just be there as a friendly face to see and communicate with remotely which is especially important for patients needing hospital care for some time.”

Dr Louise Johnson, consultant therapist in stroke at University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust, gave a huge thanks to James for all his incredible fundraising for the Stroke Unit.

Louise said: “People with stroke can be in hospital for many weeks, and we know that activity – including social and cognitive activity – plays an important part in the recovery process.”

“These iPads will allow patients to remain connected with loved ones as well as provide opportunities to keep busy with using rehab apps, games and audiobooks.

“We are so grateful to James for raising the funds to allow every patient on the Stroke Unit to access these resources.”

Beverley Keith suffered a stroke in November 2020 and spent the next 62 days on Poole Hospital’s stroke rehabilitation ward. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, her time with family was extremely restricted, and she spent 55 days on her own in hospital.

The family utilised FaceTime to connect with Beverley at the time. Sadly, she passed away in January 2021.

With the help of supporters and the local community, James raised a phenomenal £15,100 and it’s fantastic to see every penny raised, spent wisely on items like this that make a real difference to patients that are above and beyond NHS funds.

The Orchard Garden

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Before we became University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity in 2021, Bournemouth Hospital Charity officially opened the Orchard Garden at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital in May 2017.

Following two years of fundraising, the Orchard Garden went from a previously unused and unattractive courtyard in between the Hospital’s Jigsaw Building and Pathology Department to a specially designed tranquil area of relaxation and beauty for patients, visitors and our NHS colleagues.

This beautiful garden was funded by generous donations from individuals, community groups and local businesses and has been a much-loved part of our hospital grounds ever since. The garden includes a therapeutic courtyard linked by a sensory walkway to the Hospital Lake, where a wooden deck – designed to be fully accessible – offers an area of peaceful retreat overlooking the water.

However, as you would expect on all hospital sites, there is often development works needed to ensure we are always adapting our services as they evolve and meeting the needs of operational changes. This can however sometimes result in unavoidable circumstances where some areas on the hospital grounds become temporarily closed.

This month, this area where the garden is will be temporarily repurposed whilst building works are undertaken to the old pathology labs to create a new cancer ward. A temporary covered walkway will be installed in this area which unfortunately means several plants and a portion of the pathway will be lost during the time of the works.

Scaffolding will be put up in the garden area to allow new windows to be installed and minimise any disruption or damage to existing plants and the raised flower bed. Other measures to preserve this area include pruning the trees rather than removing them. All the garden furniture currently in the area will be stored safely in the garden by our construction partners, IHP.

During the works, IHP will allow access in controlled conditions to gardeners to allow maintenance of plants. IHP will look at installing a door from the covered walkway into the garden area so that patients can use the garden after building works are finalised.

While this is only a temporary closure, this work is not expected to finish until January 2025.

In the meantime, we would like to reassure our supporters, hospital staff and visitors that this garden will be restored once this work is complete. In fact, once the covered walkway is removed, the garden will be returned to its current layout.

Head of Charity, Debbie Anderson said: “The garden was put in place to help improve the experience of inpatients during their stay in hospital and we will not lose that. A large share of the funds raised for this garden was donated in-memory of former patients and this is very special to us. The Orchard Garden will remain a much-loved part of Bournemouth Hospital site and be fully reinstated after its temporary closure which is necessary as we improve our clinical environment and improve patient care pathways.”

Dorset’s super seven are in training for this year’s London Marathon

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Seven super supporters of University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity are set to run the London Marathon on Sunday 21 April 2024.

Joining 50,000 people on the streets of London next month are Carolyn Atkins, Jake Cave, Joe Joubert, Chris May, James Mainwaring, Ian Pitcher and Jack Roberts who are all running 26.2 miles to help provide those special extras for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole hospitals.

Each runner has their very own motivations and inspiration to get them across the finish line. This is what makes the London Marathon a special event as every person has their own personal reasons for taking part in such an iconic running challenge.

Jake Cave and Chris May are going the distance to raise funds for Gully’s Place to help support children with life-limiting conditions from the point of diagnosis, providing care in the hospital, at home and within the community.

Jake said: “I’ll be running 26.2 miles to help support those families who are affected and going through the worst possible time. I would personally like to say thank you in advance for any help towards my fundraising target of £2000. London Marathon here I come!”

Chris said: “A couple of close friends of mine sadly both lost their sons on separate occasions last year – Trey and Riley. Gully’s Place provided them all with emotional support and guidance through a very difficult time, allowing them to grieve in peace. This emotional support continues after the initial period in hospital. University Hospitals Dorset has been a crucial support network for these families and this difficult time would have been nearly impossible without them. So, I’m running the London marathon 2024 in memory of Trey and Riley.”

Carolyn Atkins is running for gynaecological and cancer care in support of her good friend, Rachel who was treated for stage 3 ovarian cancer at University Hospitals Dorset 2 years ago.

Carolyn said: “Thankfully, Rachel is now in remission due to the wonderful care she received from our local hospitals. We have been thinking of a way to try and give back to the wards that treated and supported her, and I have been very lucky to be given a charity place in the London Marathon. It’s my first marathon so it’s daunting but nothing compared to what Rachel has dealt with so amazingly, never complaining, always cheerful and being an inspiration to all around her.”

James Mainwaring is raising funds for the charity funded SPRING service that supports parents and families who face the loss of a baby. Tragically on 4 July 2020, he and his wife lost their beautiful baby boy, Archie. At 39 weeks and 2 days, there was no heartbeat.

James said: “It was at this moment where the SPRING team, stepped in and began to support my wife and I. They helped and taught us to pick ourselves up and begin this new difficult chapter in our lives. They were there supporting us until we could support ourselves. I want to use this opportunity to support the charity and people who supported me in my time of need so they can carry on supporting others.”

Ian Pitcher has chosen to run and raise funds for the cancer care services at University Hospitals Dorset. Ian is training hard in readiness for the start line.

Some of the Trusts very own NHS heroes are also getting their training in to take on the London Marathon in just a few weeks’ time.

Physiotherapist, Jack Roberts is pushing himself out of his comfort zone to fundraise towards specialist rehabilitation equipment at Poole Hospital. This includes a specialist wheelchair for his rehabilitation team to offer rge best possible care to those going through the darkest days of their life at the beginning of their rehabilitation journey, including those affected by brain injury, spinal cord injury and other neurological conditions.

Jack said: “Running a marathon distance has always been a bucket list thing for me, in particular, the London Marathon. However, I have always thought of it as unachievable feat. So it definitely feels like a mammoth task! However, training is going well so I am hoping to feel prepared come race day!”

And last but by no means least is Integration Developer for UHD, Joe Joubert who wants to give back to maternity and ICU services for the outstanding care, dedication and support he and his wife received to safely deliver their son in 2017 after a prolonged labour and emergency C- section at Poole Hospital.

Joe said: “During this time, I experienced first-hand the outstanding care, dedication, and support from all the staff that ensured a safe delivery. My partner has also suffered regular admissions at UHD with urosepsis and surgery, where her life has been saved several times. Ultimately, I want to help patients and families through some of the tough times they may experience.”

Fundraising Assistant, Aurelia Chilwna said: “We’re extremely grateful to have such incredible support and on behalf of the charity, I hope the training is going well! The London Marathon is one of the toughest running events in the UK which puts anybody, however fit they are through their paces. We cannot thank this super seven enough for going the distance to support our hospitals.”

March for every man in your community by supporting men’s health projects

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Join University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity on Saturday 9 March 2024 to walk along the Bournemouth promenade to support every dad, brother, uncle and man you know in your local community. Participants can take part in a fun 5k or 10k along the beautiful seafront from Bournemouth Pier to Southbourne. Starting at 10am you can choose to walk, run or get involved in any way that suits you best.

Fundraising Officer, Amy Beauchamp says “We are really looking forward to celebrating our 10th March for Men event this year. The support from the local community really makes a difference to our hospitals and it is a great event if you enjoy walking or running. It’s also a perfect opportunity for those taking part in the Couch to 5k to celebrate the end of their training and run for a worthwhile cause with us.”

“As we are celebrating 10 years of this much-loved event and with the support of Oak Services who are sponsoring this event, we are hoping to make it our biggest and best one yet. Please don’t miss out!”

Come together with friends and family to help fund revolutionary equipment that is above and beyond NHS funding. This year, we’re hoping we can help fund a piece of equipment that will improve the diagnosis and treatment of ureter and kidney cancers and benign conditions. The equipment would significantly improve cancer diagnosis rates and treatment.

Over the last 10 years, March for Men has raised nearly £170,000 for Urology at University Hospitals Dorset.

Consultant Urological Surgeon, Kevin Turner says: “We’ve purchased a wide range of equipment through the funds raised at March for Men. The funds have helped us improve our surgical robotics, improve the diagnostics and treatment of bladder cancer, record and analyse images for surgical training techniques and improvements, and enhance treatment of kidney stones, improving recovery times.”

With just 6 weeks to go, please sign up today to help support men’s health projects in your local community.

Haskins fund scenic LED landscape wall panels for patients receiving radiotherapy at Poole Hospital

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University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity receives £11,881 grant from the Haskins Charitable Fund to plant a new mounted wall of LED landscape panels in the Oncology department.

Awards for the Haskins Charitable Fund are made by staff through personal nominations. One of the team at Haskins in Ferndown is currently undergoing cancer treatment and has requested that this generous grant is made to completely fund the whole installation of these new wall panels to give patients receiving radiotherapy something visual and calming to look at during their sessions.

Patients are often sat or laid down in the same position for some considerable time and currently have nothing to look at other than bare walls and ceiling tiles.

The LED illuminated landscapes will be mounted on the wall and used as a distraction to help improve the patient experience and relax the patient by making the environment a less clinical space.

Haskins General Manager, Marc Etheridge said; “The Haskins Charitable Fund was established to support the local communities where our garden centres are located. It is a pleasure to be able to support the staff at University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity and the valuable work that they do, making a difference to thousands of people each week.

“This is such a personal donation made from our fund to help our wonderful team member. We hope the installation of the LED landscape wall panels from Aspire Inside will provide all those undergoing treatment at Poole Hospital’s Oncology department with some comfort, during what is a really challenging time.”

Head of Therapy Radiotherapy at University Hospitals Dorset, David Frost, said; “This grant is amazing and will make such a difference to the patients we treat. Over 2,545 patients attend the Oncology department for radiotherapy treatment each year and the investment in making the experience for them more comfortable is grounded in the Trust’s desire to treat people with dignity and kindness. We know that improvements to our facilities and surroundings like this really matter to people visiting our hospitals.”

Patients and staff voted for the landscape design of Durdle Door.

Dorset’s ‘Quarrymen’ deliver Christmas cheer on charity toy run

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Dorset’s Chapter of the Widows Sons Masonic Bikers Association took on a festive fundraising drive for hospital patients living with dementia.

Known in the local area as the ‘’Quarrymen’, this fantastic group of men held their annual Christmas Run last weekend (Sunday 26 November) for University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity.

In their ride starting from different areas in the county, the team passed by every masonic building across Dorset collecting donations from each individual lodge to go towards activities for patients on the wards at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital and Poole Hospital who are living with dementia.

A member of this particular Association, Tony Collins said: “This year we chose to support these particular patients because as we all know, there is no cure for dementia. A person can live well with dementia but cannot get better from it. Some people with dementia need a lot of help and others may not need any additional nursing care for a long time.”

“We wanted to help fund activities that can help prevent people living with dementia from becoming withdrawn and instead help them to feel stimulated and engaged. I am aware that almost every lodge will know a brother that is affected by this illness, whether directly themselves or indirectly through partners, parents or grandparents. It is great that we can contribute in some way to our local hospitals and their patients.”

Community Fundraiser, Janine Golding said; “What a fabulous day we had! It was amazing to see everybody getting into the festive spirit in fancy dress and going the extra mile to help provide a bit of joy to some of our patients by raising £1,310 to gift these activities to those that need them most. Thank you so much!”

Remember a loved one this Christmas and light up our tree

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Make the memory of your loved one shine bright this festive period by supporting the Light Up Our Tree Christmas campaign, launched by University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity.

The Christmas countdown has begun for many with Christmas cakes already in the oven and shopping underway. However, for some, it can be a difficult time of year. Especially for those with loved ones that are no longer with us today.

Light Up Our Tree is your opportunity to remember cherished family members or friends we have lost, whether or not a loved one was cared for at the Royal Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole Hospital.

University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity is inviting everybody across Dorset and the surrounding areas to make a donation and write the names of your loved ones on a candle decoration to be displayed at either the Royal Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole Hospitals over the Christmas period.

For 37-year-old Aimee Aldersley from Bournemouth, this will be the first Christmas without both parents.

Last Christmas she and her twin sister spent Christmas day visiting their dad at Poole Hospital, hoping to share Christmas video messages from their brother, the grandchildren and family and friends. Sadly, he was unresponsive until New Year’s Eve. After 7 months in Critical Care, the stroke ward and the Acute Brain Injury Unit, their dad passed away on Sunday 15 January.

Their mum also passed away throughout the Christmas season on Friday 10 December 2020 after living with Amyloidosis, Myeloma and kidney failure. While both parents passed away for different illnesses and in different ways, the care they received from University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust is something that will never be forgotten.

Aimee says: “Throughout the covid pandemic, the medical team did all they could to get mum home for her palliative care just like she wanted and the staff on the Portland Ward cared for dad until his very last moments. In such difficult circumstances we grew close to everybody on the wards and depended on them more than ever.”

“Losing not just one parent but two in almost 2 years is unimaginable. We still can’t believe it. If you have ever lost a loved one and would like to show your support to NHS staff who help people like mum and dad every day, please donate today. Our irreplaceable memories are with us every day, but this candle will represent the light they have left behind in our hearts.”

The local community can make their donation and candle dedication  here.

Super seven skydivers reach for the sky to support their local hospitals

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Seven staff members from University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust recently took the leap and to the skies to jump 10,000ft and 15,000ft to support The Royal Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Hospitals. 

Taking on the once in a lifetime experience at GoSkydive in Salisbury was Ali Whyte, Molly Lopez, Rachel Gregory, Kim Davis, Fiona Sowerby, Amira Al-Bittar and Charlotte Pontin-Thomas.

This super seven had individual motivations to take on this courageous challenge and decided to fundraise for a mixture of areas within University Hospitals Dorset.

First up was Ali Whyte who works within the eye department at The Royal Bournemouth Hospital and was keen to support the Eye Sim Appeal for a revolutionary simulator for eye surgery to help train the new generation of eye surgeons across Wessex and Dorset.

Molly Lopez is a nurse for Ward 15 at Bournemouth Hospital and took to the skies to raise funds for a new pull-out bed for relatives who are visiting loved ones who are receiving palliative care. These patients need their families, and their families need comfort during such a precious time which is something Moly is especially keen to support.

Molly says: “Our patients go through a lot during their last days of life, and we would like to provide families with a comfortable place to rest during this time with a loved one. This will make this challenging time just that little bit easier.”

Thirdly, Rachel Gregory who works as an Assistant Medical Equipment Co-ordinator braved the 15,000ft jump to support all three hospitals, NHS staff and their patients. Rachel says: “I always wanted to do a skydive so when I saw the charity skydive advertised, my thoughts were its now or never. I am so grateful for all the sponsorship people have given me. There is so many departments in need of different things. I am so pleased I can show my support.”

Joining Rachel was Kim Davis and Fiona Sowerby who work in Finance for the Trust who were keen to leap into action to support their hospitals while ticking off a personal passion on their bucket list.

Not stopping there, Amira Al-Bittar who works as a Medical Laboratory Assistant in the Microbiology department followed in her flight from a Cessna Super Cargomaster – the fastest tandem skydiving aircraft in the UK to raise funds to support her colleagues in the Pathology and Microbiology department.

Last by no means least is Charlotte Pontin-Thomas who is one of PAs to the fantastic cancer care team at Poole Hospital has fundraised her way through cycl-athons and cake sales to raise funds to support the Cancer Care Unit.

Go team!

It’s no close shave for the local Radiotherapy Team this Movember

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From left to right: Lewis, David, Kyle, John, Abhishek.

The Radiotherapy Team from Poole Hospital are growing their finest moustaches this month to raise funds for University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity.

Half-way through Movember, a group of Radiotherapy Radiographers, Physicists and Engineers from University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust are resisting the urge to stay clean-shaven this month in their growing efforts to support their patients.

So far, the team have passed their fundraising target of £750 and have already reached the £870 mark.

Every penny raised will allow the team to purchase equipment in Radiotherapy; helping to improve their existing treatment in the Radiotherapy department and to continue providing the best care they can for their patients.

Community Fundraiser, Janine Golding said: “I absolutely love the engagement in this activity from right across the team, all going above and beyond to raise funds for their department. It really is fantastic fun to see and I can’t wait to see the final results on the 30 November.”

“It’s the community and team spirit of activities like this that really show the value our charity can have for our NHS staff and their patients. Together we can purchase new equipment that can really make a difference. Thank you to everybody involved.”

Senior Radiographer, Lewis Powell said: “We are keen to fundraise, but it isn’t always easy knowing what way to do it. But the answer was under our noses all along. We are extremely grateful for all the generous donations. It has been a great way to raise money for a good cause whilst having a bit of fun within the team.”

To support Lewis and the team, you can visit to see their latest updates and photos.