On Tuesday 17th July our vision finally became a reality when the Dragonfly Suite relatives' room was officially opened. Some of the Harry's Rainbow Team and young people joined representatives from MKUH to celebrate the opening before Odette Mould CEO of Harry's Rainbow and Joe Harrison Chief executive of MKUH jointly cut the ribbon and opened the doors to reveal the transformation.
The room which offers a quiet space for families facing devastating or tragic news has been completely renovated, from the lighting to new furniture, there's nothing that project manager Lesley Sutton hadn't thought of. An enthusiastic team from both organisations have worked very closely together to ensure a once tired and unfeeling room became a calm and tranquil setting. It has been a long time coming for Odette to finally be able to realise a goal she had set herself 5 years ago when she first laid eyes on the room during a meeting with Bereavement Officer Kim Weston.
She said "the room in which I was given the news that my son was going to die, was cramped, unkempt and insignificant yet remains etched in my memories; the fact that the consultant wasn't able to sit down properly and remained perched above me on a desk, while he dealt me the worst news I'd ever face, and the nurse who assisted him was beside him but unable to get close, to offer solace, isn't something that's easily forgotten.
I'm not saying that, had the room been more comforting and less clinical it would have resolved my heartache, but what I am saying is that the room does have an important role to play and getting it right creates the first supportive step along a very difficult and unending journey.
And that's why when I sat in the relatives room with Kim all that those years ago, as the threadbare furniture sitting unloved, waiting for another family to arrive, I made it a personal goal that one day I will make sure it became the sort of room I and many others would have felt comforted in"
Textile artist Jane Charles worked closely with the youth group to create the beautiful artwork based on the international symbol of grief; The Dragonfly, which sits proudly on the walls. The display unit (kindly donated by the Milton Keynes Hospital Charity) which contains information and books to help those who have been bereaved acts as an important resource for the room, something that was very important to us to provide.
Joe Harrison said 'I'd like to thank Odette and everyone at Harry's Rainbow for working so hard to create this comfortable and quiet space in the hospital for people dealing with difficult news'
Thanks to everyone who supported the work including Kim and Tina in MKUH Bereavement team, The MKUH Estates Team, project manager Lesley and and the local businesses who helped by donating their time and expertise, including Lynx Networks, Shutter Solutions, Kingfisher Carpets and Neville Special Projects.
Special thanks must go to our amazing supporters for your wonderful donations towards the project. We know that this project will help the whole community of Milton Keynes and we are so grateful and proud.
OUR CHARITABLE AIMS
We became a fully registered charity in September 2012. Our registration number is 1149011.
children and young people and their families who have been bereaved through the loss of a significant loved one such as a parent or sibling.
Access to support and advice
Recreational and leisure activities to children and young people in order to improve their conditions of life and to reduce the isolation felt during bereavement, by facilitating contact with other children and young people.
Public awareness of the need for support and guidance and providing access to information about coping with bereavement.