This month saw the grand opening of two newly upgraded family rooms in the stroke ward at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. The much-needed re-vamp was funded by BrisDoc’s Community Fund in memory of Julie Bridges who sadly passed away in January 2016 after suffering a stroke.
Julie had been at BrisDoc since 2007; not just as a call-handler in the Out of Hours service but also as an enthusiastic volunteer and familiar face to many in the BrisDoc family. Many of you will know that the hugely popular Children’s Christmas Party held in December 2015 owed its success to Julie’s enthusiasm and hard work.
The opening was attended by Julie’s husband, Richard, who works at the BRI, along with daughter, Sarah Pearce, who many of you will know from BrisDoc’s Governance Team.
The Community Fund donated £5000 to Above and Beyond who used the funds to buy new armchairs and coffee tables as well as a new lick of paint for each room. The larger family room now feels much more homely with a TV and artwork up on the wall and space for children to play. A second ‘Quiet Room’ was also updated with new furniture and also a fold out bed for family members who wish to stay in the ward overnight to be close to loved ones.
Nurse, Chris Oram, told us the room has had a “very positive impact” since being updated. She said “Straight away, you noticed people’s body language change”. The room previously felt very rigid and formal. “People now seem relaxed; they’ve got a comfortable space to chat to family and friends during what is undoubtedly a very difficult time”.
There has also been a balloon mural painted in Julie’s memory in the Ground floor “Balloon Corridor” in Zone A Level 2.