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A disused courtyard at Rutland Memorial Hospital has been transformed into  a beautiful space for the enjoyment of patients, their visitors and staff, thanks to a  charitable bequest by Uppingham resident Ted Toon. 

Kathleen Tapley, 84, a patient at the hospital, is herself a keen gardener. She
said: “It is a very good job. It is a wonderful place now.”

Maria Ward, a ward manager at the hospital, said: “It is amazing. It is almost
like a jewel. Patients have come out and enjoyed the garden, as have their
visitors. This is a lovely place to come and breathe, and to take some time to
reflect.”

The £48,000 garden has been designed by David Penny to appeal to a wide range of senses, and to have something of interest at all times of the year – with different colours, textures and smells.

Along the walls are a series of photos of Rutland landmarks at a height suitable for wheelchair users. It has a number of seating areas in a mix of shaded and open-air locations, with anti-slip paving so visitors can spend time in it in most weathers.

Ted Toon was a carpenter/joiner and undertaker, who had a keen sense of
looking after others. Before he died, he said: “I’m going to leave my money to
those people who supported my business while I was alive. I want my money to
go back to the community by way of saying thank-you.”

Gerald Badley used to work for the late Mr Toon, and is an executor for his Will. He said: “Ted loved gardens and flowers. He would have thought this was money well spent – it would have got his approval.” 

Pat Morley, chairman of the hospital’s League of Friends, said the garden had
transformed what had previously been a derelict courtyard. She said the
League had pressed for the area to be used for the benefit of patients, and
would continue to help with maintaining it into the future.

Leaving a gift in your Will, of any size, can help improve the experience of local people being cared for by LPTs services. You can find out more about leaving a legacy to Raising Health here.