A MEMORIAL wall has been unveiled in Salford Royal’s Hope Building to commemorate bereaved families and organ donors.
The piece, based on the flight of birds, reflects the hospital’s work giving comfort to families during difficult times and provides a poignant reminder of the great sacrifice which donors and their families make to give life to others.
Designed by Salford University graphic design student Alice Hemmings,the wall has been produced by Salford Royal’s Bereavement and Donation team in collaboration with Salford University. Students from across a range of arts programmes pitched designs with the winner commissioned for the project.
Alice’s design features models of different types of bird, laser cut 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.
She said: “I wanted the piece to reflect the empathic bond between all staff families, donors and patients, as each will take turn to reassure and comfort one another throughout the process – even the donor will reassure their own grieving family. I wanted to find a visual representation of this support network which is why I chose birds.
“I am honoured to have worked with the bereavement team on this commission, I have enjoyed piecing all the elements together to create this mural. I hope people will enjoy looking at it, and those directly involved will feel their role is acknowledged and the donors remembered.”
Darren Raven, Programme Leader for Graphic Design at the University of Salford, said: “We work closely with a wide range of external organisations and encourage our students to think about the role 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.”
The nurse-led bereavement service at Salford Royal provides support in the final days, weeks and months of someone’s life as well as practical and emotional support for grieving families after a death.
In the last year 31 people donated their organs at Salford Royal providing a second chance for 91 patients. More than 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.
Dr Pete Turkington, Medical Director at Salford Royal, said: “Working collaboratively with Salford University has given us the opportunity to reach out into the community and work with young people who are beginning their careers. Alice’s design is truly beautiful and perfectly reflects our work.”