Warwick charity joins Jaguar Land Rover to transform hospital

L-R: Mandy Littlejohn, Caroline Beresford-Ruck, Helen Smith, Alan Coope, Tracy Kewley and Jan Grewal.
L-R: Mandy Littlejohn, Caroline Beresford-Ruck, Helen Smith, Alan Coope, Tracy Kewley and Jan Grewal.

Warwick-based charity Evelyn’s Gift teamed up with volunteers to help transform a local hospital.

The charity was set up in memory of Evelyn Smith, who died in 2013 after having a viral and bacterial infection of her upper respiratory tract, which doctors had missed opportunities to diagnose and treat properly.

Evelyn's Gift were joined by volunteers from Jaguar Land Rover and from the local community to help transform gardens at St Michael's Hospital in Warwick.

Evelyn's Gift were joined by volunteers from Jaguar Land Rover and from the local community to help transform gardens at St Michael's Hospital in Warwick.

One of the charity’s aims is to provide acts of kindness to people in need.

Last Wednesday Evelyn’s Gift trustees teamed up with 35 volunteers from Jaguar Land Rover to transform the gardens at St Michael’s Hospital in Warwick, which specialises in psychiatric care.

Three garden areas have been brought to life with new planters and plants that were provided by Barn Close Nurseries.

One of the courtyard gardens was out of use because of trip hazards but has now been made safe for the patients.

Evelyn's Gift were joined by volunteers from Jaguar Land Rover and from the local community to help transform gardens at St Michael's Hospital in Warwick.

Evelyn's Gift were joined by volunteers from Jaguar Land Rover and from the local community to help transform gardens at St Michael's Hospital in Warwick.

The area at the front of the hospital has also been brightened up with new plants.

Also on the day was the official opening of the family room on the Willowvale Ward, which was opened by Warwick mayor Christine Cross.

Last year, with the support of former Warwick mayor Mandy Littlejohn, Evelyn’s Gift decorated the room and provided soft furnishings and books, transforming the space into a relaxing room where patients can spend time with their families.

The volunteers from Jaguar Land Rover also received CPR training from the Warwick District Community First Responders.

Bev McGrory of St Michaels Hospital with Mayor of Warwick Christine Cross and Evelyn's Gift trustees.

Bev McGrory of St Michaels Hospital with Mayor of Warwick Christine Cross and Evelyn's Gift trustees.

Helen Smith, Evelyn’s mum and founder of Evelyn’s Gift, said: “I suffer from PTSD and so I am very conscious of how mental health problems can affect anyone. I hope that this project, in memory of Evelyn, will go some way to help people cope with mental illness. I am hugely grateful to Mandy Littlejohn, Warwick District Community First Responders and to volunteers from Jaguar Land Rover, without whom this lasting legacy to Evelyn would not be possible.”

Former Warwick mayor, Mandy Littlejohn, said: “It fills me with pride to have been able to support Evelyn’s Gift last year as mayor and it was a privilege to be at the official opening of the family room.

“The little of acts of kindness this charity does are actually getting bigger each day and this was shown in the transformation of the gardens at the hospital, with huge thanks to the volunteers from Jaguar Land Rover.”

Speaking about the new family room, mayor of Warwick Christine Cross commented: “It was an honour to be asked to open the new family room at St Michael’s. All credit to Helen and Mandy for orchestrating this project and seeing it through to fruition.

The volunteers from Jaguar Land Rover.

The volunteers from Jaguar Land Rover.

“The tropical theme created by the beautiful mural painted by Rachel and enhanced by the parrots on the curtains really gives the room a relaxed atmosphere.”

Les Ratcliffe, head of community relations at Jaguar Land Rover said: “As a responsible business, Jaguar Land Rover supports various community initiatives in the areas surrounding its facilities to strengthen community relations and support its reputation as an employer of choice.

“We encourage our employees to support team projects to make a positive difference in our local communities.”

Mayor of Warwick Christine Cross with Helen Smith, founder of Evelyn's Gift and Bev McCrory of St Michael's Hospital.

Mayor of Warwick Christine Cross with Helen Smith, founder of Evelyn's Gift and Bev McCrory of St Michael's Hospital.

The newly decorated family room at St Michael's Hospital.

The newly decorated family room at St Michael's Hospital.

The mural in the family room painted by Rachel Nacer.

The mural in the family room painted by Rachel Nacer.

The family room at St Michael's Hospital.

The family room at St Michael's Hospital.

Evelyn's Gift were joined by volunteers from Jaguar Land Rover and from the local community to help transform St Michael's Hospital in Warwick.

Evelyn's Gift were joined by volunteers from Jaguar Land Rover and from the local community to help transform St Michael's Hospital in Warwick.

Evelyn's Gift were joined by volunteers from Jaguar Land Rover and from the local community to help transform St Michael's Hospital in Warwick.

Evelyn's Gift were joined by volunteers from Jaguar Land Rover and from the local community to help transform St Michael's Hospital in Warwick.