On the 26th June the unveiling ceremony took place at the Atkinson Morley Wing of St Georges Hospital Tooting of a new memorial. This Memorial known as “The Tree of Life” is dedicated to the memory of the many organ donors that by their unselfish act of donation gave new hope of life to so many.
This memorial was designed and built by the Planned Engineering Services personnel at Atkinson Morley who support the Bellrock FM team on the site.
The idea for the new memorial came from an original approach by Jo Cox Specialist Nurse-Organ Donation to see if it the PES team could help modify the existing Tree of Life located on the wall of the main entrance area. When the team realised that the original plastic tree was now too small for the number of donors constantly being added to it they decided that they would endeavour to provide something that would be a lasting memorial to the donors. The memorial would be so designed to accept the all the names of those who gave, and will give, in the future, and where the families could visit if they wished.
Led by the ever innovative PES Contract Manager Richard Coolahan and assisted by his entire team Ben Nolan, Lynard Reyes, James Duke, John Holmes, Rod Velasco, Rommel JR Quilas, Greg Smith, Jack Coolahan, Michael Ebba Billy Burrows they commenced the design, production and installation of a new tree of Life. Some 11 months later and many hours of work on the project (carried out before and after their shifts) the tree was completed and installed in June ready for presenting to the Donor Team. The team were ably assisted by the St Georges Hospital arts designer Joanna Wakefield, Gytis Skema, (Bellrock Sub Contractor on site) who displayed extra ordinary carpentry skills on the benches that surround the Memorial using the ideas provided by Joanna, and the bespoke planter base brilliantly constructed with timber and concrete by Billy Burrows
The tree itself made of aluminium and cut with precision CNC water jet technology manufactured by Aqua Dynamic was developed from an original design by Tom Ward, and subsequently an interpretive drawing by Lilly O’ Conner whose partner is one of the PES team on site.
Georgina Huxley, Contract Support Administrator for the PES on site was the major fundraiser for the project and her sterling efforts raised over £5000 with major contributions from companies such as Midland Medical and B&K Fire protection.
The opening was attended by the Bellrock and PES team, clinical staff, the Chief Executive of St Georges Hospital, and relatives and friends of the donors all of whom were moved when the partner of one of the donors made a very poignant speech in praise of the new memorial.
The “Tree of Life” is now open and already the benches are attracting visitors, staff and relatives.
The 2nd phase of the project is underway with the design and production of the feature that will contain the individual names of the donors again led by Richard and his team and fund raising is underway to ensure the finished addition to the tree will be very special.