A TOUCHING tribute honouring the sacrifices of frontline workers and lives lost as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has been unveiled.

Clacton Hospital, in Tower Road, is now home to a poignant memorial garden in which staff, patients, and families can reflect in peace on the past year.

The special green area, which boasts a tranquil atmosphere, offers a space in which loved ones can remember relatives and friends tragically taken by Covid-19.

Touchingly coloured ribbons and name tags have been attached to fencing in the space to commemorate 133 patients who died at either Clacton and Fryatt Hospital.


The garden has also been designed to act as place which personifies the unbridled dedication to saving lives displayed by frontline workers throughout the crisis.

The garden was curated by the Anglian Community Enterprise, which will be handing the management of the facility to the North Essex NHS Foundation Trust on June 30.

Read more:

Debbie Dyers, advanced clinical practitioner, said: “I think it is fair to say the last 18-months have been awful – professionally this has been the hardest time I’ve ever had.

“This has felt like our very own war against an invisible enemy which has caused so much heartache, stress, worry, illness and unfortunate death.

“This memorial garden came from a thought of ‘how can I make this better, help the staff to heal and the relatives to know we have not forgotten their loved ones?’

“Today, this is a beautiful space for staff, patients, and relatives to spend time, relax, connect, and enjoy.

“What is broken can be mended, what hurts can be healed, and no matter how dark it gets, the sun is going to rise again.”


Local garden designer and builder Lee Harvey helped make the memorial garden become a reality after his wife, an NHS employee, put him up for it.

The 47-year-old said: “I originally said I would design and do the centre piece but then as it has evolved I have ended up doing most of it.

“It has been a lot of work and my team and I have spent about two and a half weeks on it – it feels lovely to have been involved and I couldn’t not be involved.

“It was a no brainer and I am really pleased with how it has come out, apart from the bird poo which I am constantly clearing up.

“We bought some of the stuff but a lot of it has been donated so everyone has really come together on this.

“We are all going to need these people one day and for me I have got a real buzz from doing it and even if half the staff use it then it has done the job.”


Senior staff nurse at Clacton Hospital, Suzie Deans, 50, was taken aback by the memorial garden and believes it will help workers’ mental health.

“It is very touching because staff have all pulled together over the last year and we have made things work and we are still smiling,” she added.

“This will give us somewhere to get away from the ward and have a break mentally and remember those we have lost but also that we have done something good.”