Wednesday 6th October saw B&M Care officiate the opening of the group’s Memorial Garden.
Situated adjacent to Ashlyns Care Home and B&M Care sister brand Fledglings Nursery on Berkhamsted’s Ashlyns Hall Estate, the occasion was attended by the group’s Head Office, as well as Care Home Management staff.
Group CEO Ian Sloan welcomed Chairman Bill Hughes and Director of Organisational Culture Colleen Wood to speak in memory of those who have passed, whilst recognising the tireless efforts of our frontline care staff.
The opening concluded with Father Richard [of St Saviour’s Church, Chipperfield] leading a prayer and blessing, followed by Bill Hughes unveiling a stone plaque engraved with a golden rainbow and the wording: “In memory of all the lives lost to Covid-19 and with thanks to the selfless commitment from our key workers”.
Open to both staff and relatives from any B&M Care Home, the Memorial Garden offers a calming space to contemplate and reflect on the impact of the pandemic. Framed by inscribed railings and carpeted with astroturf, ornamental features – most notably a rose mural designed by and in memory of former carpenter and much-missed friend-of-the-group Jim Magee - compliment the garden’s ‘Reflection Room’ (pictured below): a bespoke outbuilding that houses a ‘Book of Remembrance’ where relatives can pay tribute to their loved ones.
The Memorial Garden was born out of B&M Care’s Memory Capsule Relay. Running throughout August, the relay observed a trunk being transported around each of the group’s 26 care homes, including B&M Care Head Office in Hemel Hempstead, to collect a historic cache of items and information which has now formed part of a pandemic time capsule that will be buried at the Memorial Garden.
The aim of the time capsule was to communicate the essence of living through a global pandemic to a future generation. Items of the trunk include: art and drawings, handwritten memoirs, photograph albums, memory books, and an inscribed candle.