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Sunday 29 November 2020
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Memorial wall unveiled

New memorial wall unveiled at Salford Royal

A new memorial wall has been unveiled in Salford Royal’s Hope Building to commemorate bereaved families, including those that have donated their organs or tissue. 


The piece “Birds”, designed by Alice Hemmings, is based on the flight of birds and reflects the work done to give comfort to families during difficult times, by medical and nursing teams alongside bereavement and donation services. It also provides a poignant reminder of the fragility of life and recognises the great sacrifice donors and their families make to give life to others, which can bring hope to people who are bereaved.


The wall has been produced by Salford Royal’s Bereavement and Donation team in collaboration with the University of Salford. Students from the University’s Art & Design courses pitched to Salford Royal, with Alice’s design being selected and commissioned for the project. Alice’s design features different types of bird, crafted from wood and mounted on the wall, with each bird representing a different element of the bereavement journey.  The birds’ trajectory is upwards symbolising hope, positivity and moving forward. Each bird in the flight is a different species to symbolise the unique, individuality of the patients, their families and those who cared for them at the end of their lives. 


The wall was unveiled by Her Majesty’s Senior Coroner for the District of Manchester West, Professor Jennifer Leeming, on Monday 26 June. She will be joined by staff from the hospital, university and the National Health Service Blood & Transplant as well as bereaved donor families to celebrate the important work done by the bereavement and donation team at Salford Royal.


Support is provided at Salford Royal in the final days, weeks and months of someone’s life as well as practical and emotional support for their grieving families after death.  The bereavement and donation teams work with staff across the hospital during this process, aiming to provide quality end of life care for every patient every time. Where appropriate they make families aware of the donation choices available to them such as tissue and organ donation.


In the last year 31 people donated their organs at Salford Royal providing a second chance for 91 patients. The hospital also retrieves and transplants tissue with numerous tissue donations made last year. Over 6,500 people are on the waiting list for organ donation within the UK, and many more are waiting for tissue, so each donation is life changing.  


Speaking about the memorial wall Dr Pete Turkington, Medical Director at Salford Royal, said: “It is wonderful to be able to recognise the end of life care and support provided for every person and their family at Salford Royal. Staff work with patients and their families during the most difficult moments to provide comfort and hope.


“Working collaboratively with the University of Salford has given us the opportunity to reach out into the community and work with young people who are at the beginning their careers. Alice’s design is truly beautiful and perfectly reflects our work. It is a fitting tribute to our team, our patients and our families who will attend the unveiling.”


Darren Raven, Programme Leader for Graphic Design at the University of Salford, said: “We work close with a wide range of external organisations and encourage our students to think about the role that their artwork can play in the outside world.


“Alice has created a powerful piece of work about an issue which is of great importance to many people’s lives, and this was a wonderful opportunity for one of our talented students to make a real contribution to the local community.”

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Bereavement memorial group