Award-winning landscape designer Chris Beardshaw describes his new Morgan Stanley Garden at Great Ormond Street Hospital as “a refuge, a space to retreat into, and a place for clinicians and families to reflect.”
Maybe so, but before settling down for a quiet life in its permanent home, the garden faces bustling crowds and critical scrutiny at the 2016 RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
“It is extremely rare that a garden is designed for a site, and then taken to Chelsea and then taken back to its parent location,” said Mr Beardshaw, who spent time with GOSH staff and patients to get a sense of the kind of garden the hospital needed.
“The thing that struck me about the hospital was the intensity of activity within the confines of the architecture, and the complete lack of external space to step out into.”
Mr Beardshaw imagined a place of quiet solitude, where staff and families could sit and collect their thoughts. “I wanted to create a sense of isolation or of removal, so that you can contemplate unhindered by others and create a palate or a tapestry that allows the mind to be consumed by the garden. It’s a very verdant, very opulent space where the textures, shades and tones of green really come into play.”
As the garden is to be situated in the heart of the hospital, surrounded by buildings of up to 10 storeys, Mr Beardshaw had to factor near-constant shade into his design: “The beauty, form and texture of the garden really starts to resonate in subdued light.”
Meet the patients and doctors of GOSH
Meet the patients and doctors of GOSH
1/9 Elliott Livingstone
Two-year-old Elliott is a “cheeky” little boy who has a Thomas the Tank Engine sticker on his Berlin heart machine, which has kept him alive since his own heart failed eight months ago. Elliott has two tubes pumping blood around his tiny body. It keeps him alive but the machine has left him confined to the wards of Great Ormond Street Hospital until a new heart is found
2/9 Melissa Strickland
As the ward sister on Koala Ward, Melissa Strickland leads a nursing team with the challenging job of looking after children with craniofacial and neurological conditions. “You have to have all the skills and knowledge to do this job but personally for me you cannot do it unless you have passion but also compassion,” she said. “You don’t get used to the sad side of things but you do learn to manage it.”
3/9 Amy Willis
Amy Willis carries a discreet black medical bag everywhere she goes. It contains the cutting-edge HeartWare device that is keeping her alive. A smaller, more advanced version of the Berlin artificial heart, it was fitted in April after she was emergency airlifted to GOSH from Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool. The device means that 14-year-old Amy can be home in Flintshire this Christmas while remaining on the heart transplant waiting list. She is doing well but 15 per cent of patients with a HeartWare device or Berlin heart die while waiting for a new heart, so money raised by the appeal will also go to help researchers identify ways to keep children alive while they await transplant
4/9 Myra Bluebond-Langner
Professor Myra Bluebond-Langner represents the vital work of the Louis Dundas Centre for Children’s Palliative Care, GOSH’s world-class centre dedicated to research and care for children with life-limiting illnesses. The LDC is named in honour of Louis Dundas, a four-year-old boy who died in “unspeakable pain” after suffering a brain tumour in April 2008. Its aim is to ensure that no child suffers unnecessarily in their final days. Money raised from The Independent’s Give to GOSH appeal will go to fund the team’s work to manage pain, and also fund vital research into palliative care in children across the whole of the UK. Professor Bluebond-Langner, who heads the research, said: “Paediatric palliative care is a relatively new field where practice has outstripped research. We look to change that.”
5/9 Finella Craig
Together with with Professor Myra Bluebond-Langner, Dr Finella Craig represents the vital work of the Louis Dundas Centre for Children’s Palliative Care, GOSH’s world-class centre dedicated to research and care for children with life-limiting illnesses. The LDC is named in honour of Louis Dundas, a four-year-old boy who died in “unspeakable pain” after suffering a brain tumour in April 2008. Its aim is to ensure that no child suffers unnecessarily in their final days. “One of the worst experiences for a family is to witness their child in pain and discomfort, and for them to feel totally powerless to do anything about it,” said Dr Craig, a consultant in paediatric palliative medicine at GOSH since 2002. Money raised from The Independent’s Give to GOSH appeal will go to fund the team’s work to manage pain, and also fund vital research into palliative care in children across the whole of the UK.
6/9 Rowan Pethard
Like most little boys, Rowan Pethard loves playing football. At the start of 2015 the seven-year-old Spurs fan baffled his doctors in Hemel Hempstead with a string of coughs, colds, tummy bugs, aches, pains and rashes. It wasn’t until quite late on that doctors discovered he had leukaemia. He spent two days in intensive care while he had emergency chemo. He has two years of follow-up treatment ahead. “He’s amazing, a little superhero,” his mum said. “It makes it easier for his father and I and his brother to cope.”
7/9 Martin Elliott
Paediatric heart and lung surgeon Martin Elliott, 64, is one of the longest serving doctors at GOSH, leading groundbreaking research and treating thousands of patients over the past 30 years. His work has bridged the gap between surgery and research with skills ranging from heart-bypass surgery to correcting congenital lung disorders.
8/9 Ralph Frost
For Ralph the hardest thing about having to live at GOSH while he waits for a new kidney isn’t missing his toys. He has plenty of those and can terrorise the nurses by pushing his little red motorbike down the corridors of Eagle Ward. The hardest thing for the six-year-old is battling not to cry out during his nightly dialysis sessions. “It really hurts,” he said. “But the other kids are sleeping and I don’t want to wake them up.” Ralph suffers from nephrotic syndrome and is currently waiting for a kidney from his father, Nick. He’s called the kidney “Chase” and his parents, who have been trained to operate his dialysis machine, hope to be home by Christmas
9/9 Lynsey Steele
The strongest praise for Lynsey Steele, 33, comes from the parents of the children she helps. “The children here wouldn’t get by without Lynsey,” said Ralph’s mother Amie Frost. “If she wasn’t here then we’d have cracked up.” Lynsey’s role, which is funded by the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and will be supported by The Independent’s Give to GOSH appeal, is to help children play and relax, but also to have the difficult conversations explaining their treatment
Another central component is a watercourse running the length of the garden, reflecting the trees and the sky over-head. This, and everything else on display at Chelsea, will be painstakingly dismantled come the end of the show, and craned on to the roof at GOSH. A gold medal this year would mean 11 RHS Gold Medals for Mr Beardshaw, who last year won top prize for another Morgan Stanley-sponsored commission.
The bank also has had a lengthy relationship with GOSH, pledging in 2007 to raise £10m for the hospital over three years, eventually raising over £11m. The money helped fund the Morgan Stanley Clinical Building, a key part of the hospital’s ambitious redevelopment plans, replacing cramped, outdated rooms with modern facilities for families.
Last year, employees of the bank voted for GOSH Children’s Charity to be their new charity partner, with the aim of raising £1.5m for Morgan Stanley House, an updated accommodation block for parents of patients, which includes those who are in intensive care.
“We have seen first-hand how our partnership is making a real difference to the families from across the UK who come to the hospital each and every day,” said Clare Woodman, Chief Operating Officer of Morgan Stanley International. “To know our support is helping to build new accommodation so that parents or carers can be close to their child when they need them the most is very important to us.”
The firm was also the first corporate backer in The Independent’s on-going Give to GOSH campaign, donating £150,000 in December.
President of Morgan Stanley, Colm Kelleher, said: “At Morgan Stanley we are very proud of what our long-standing partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity has achieved since we began working together in 2007. Giving back is a core value for us, and our employees have shown huge commitment to the hospital, going above and beyond to fundraise and also to volunteer their time.”
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