Dame Mary is Special Zest at Unveiling of Outdoor Hospital Furniture

Legendary TV chef, Dame Mary Berry was the special guest at the unveiling of the new outdoor picnic tables at Townlands Memorial Hospital yesterday for staff and visitors to use.

The money for the tables was raised by Friends of Townlands Hospital (FROTH) and donations from Cote Brasserie, Mercers Solicitors, Niki Schafer Interior Design and Rachel Hotson Landscape Designer.  Mary also created a special recipe for a Townlands lemon sandwich cake which was baked by three members of FROTH for the unveiling event.

Caroline Newton, Chair of FROTH said, “This outdoor furniture is for staff to use in their down time and visitors of the hospital.  We’re delighted to be able to donate them to the hospital.  It’s an absolutely fantastic facility here and it’s very well used by local residents. We’re really grateful for Cote and Mercers support.  We’re absolutely delighted that Mary can join us and welcome our new furniture. We have baked three cakes, one of which was done in a barbecue by me!”

Steve McManus, CEO of Royal Berkshire Foundation Trust said, “We work out of 7 different sites of which Townlands is one of our really important community locations.  Welcome to everyone including local business and a massive thank you to Friends of Townlands Hospital.  The work that you do, the volunteering that goes on to support our hospital here is hugely welcome to patients and families.  We started a bit of a mission in 2017, this lady here (Steph Greenwood – Hospital Manager) was instrumental in getting this hospital the maximum use that we can and we’re still on that mission.  For over the last 5/6 years we have hugely increased the range and complexities of services that we’re able to deliver for the local community.  A massive thank you for the furniture.  Furniture like this adds to the experience that our staff, patients, visitors and families have of coming to Townlands.  Thank you Mary for being here and giving up your time.”

Mary commented, “Aren’t we lucky to have this amazing hospital.  We have only been here 3 years and my grandchildren have been here too.  When you come here, you can find somewhere to park unlike if you go to others where it is nightmare.  As soon as you come in to reception you get a huge smile.  I was in here with husband recently.  You know chaps with bald heads always knock their heads and two lovely nurses looked after him.  The nurses always tell me that they love working here.  Amongst themselves they are smiling and very happy.  This is a very special place.  We now have these recycled plastic tables which will be here forever and won’t need repainting.  Huge investment and thank you Cote and Mercers for their donations and FROTH for fundraising.  It is always nice to come outside.  We are all learning that to be outside is better than taking pills.  It will be so nice for the staff to come out here and people visiting to get some fresh air.  I’m immensely grateful for the hospital here.  Enjoy the cake, I’m dying to know about the barbecue one.”

After the speeches, Mary also did the honour of cutting the cake, commenting that the first one was “perfectly light and fluffy.”

Laura Beales from Mercers said, “I’ve grown up here and I’ve known Townlands and the Memorial Hospital before that.  It is great we have got this in the community.  I’ve got 3 children so it’s great if you’ve got minor injuries.  It’s just fantastic.  When my sister wasn’t very well, Dr Will Hearsey was fantastic with her here.  So reassuring and got her to where she needed to get to.  This is all recycled.  At Mercers we’re always looking at looking after the environmental for example we’ve gone paper free.”

Suzi Hoffman from Cote added, “We raised the money through our soft launch initiative where we asked people to pay what they thought they should and all this money was donated to charity which was just over £3,000.  Delighted to see them being unveiled today.”




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