Pictured from left are: Ian Lewis, the Assistant Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Yorkshire West Riding; Jules Preston Chairman of The Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust and Gerald Hancocks from Rectitude Lodge
A cash injection by the Freemasons has helped Wakefield’s Pinderfields Hospital complete a major upgrade to its bereavement viewing suite.
And to mark the conclusion of the £10,000 refurbishment scheme which saw the Freemasons contributing £6,000 -, The renamed Oakleaf Suite was officially opened at a ceremony attended by representatives from the fraternity and Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust.
The money from the Freemasons has been donated in the memory of David Pickover MBE, a former chairman of the Wakefield and Pontefract MacMillan Appeal Fund, and a member of Rectitude Lodge in Wakefield, who died in June 2017.
Twelve months after his death, the Lodge received a plea for financial support from the Palliative Care Team to support the refurbishment of Pinderfields’ mortuary viewing room.
It responded by successfully applying for £5,000k from the Freemasons Provincial Grand Master’s (PGM’s) Fund – which each year gives £200,000 to good causes across the region – and further boosted this by a £1,000 donation from lodge members.
Artist Stella Corrall, from Lucentia Design, who together with art project manager Helen Kitchen, was commissioned to transform the mortuary suite - said: “The success of this project has to a large extent been due to people’s willingness to give feedback and share their experiences and reflections.
“Talking with a broad cross-section of people we found that many individuals had been touched by loss and bereavement and that they had insightful suggestions for enhancing the mortuary environment.
“We want to thank everyone who participated in this project, for their openness and generosity of spirit.”
Jules Preston, chairman of The Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust, who formally opened the suite and thanked all the contributors for their help in making it possible, said that as a result of the fantastic outcome of the project, a further viewing room at Pinderfields Hospital would be refurbished in a similar style
Jeff Beevers, a past master of Rectitude Lodge, said: “Thanks to the £6,000 from the PGM’s Fund and our own members the hospital has been able to finish this worthwhile project.
“There is no doubt that the transformation of the viewing room will enhance the experience of bereaved relatives.
“The former rooms were cold and lacking any comfort at all, unwelcoming for relatives who would not have wanted to stay for any time, whereas the Oak Leaf Suite now provides a warm, welcoming calm and comfortable environment where relatives will want to spend time with their dearly departed.
“The main aim of the project was to create a calming and beautiful space, to help mitigate the distress and anguish of those visiting, so mission accomplished!”