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At the event

On Tuesday 27th August the High Sheriff of Surrey, Bridget Biddell, paid a special visit to St Peter’s Hospital in Surrey to learn more about the Trust’s partnership with Surrey County Council’s Youth Offending Services; particularly the carpentry projects undertaken by young people referred to Youth Offending Services, to make items for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the Stroke Rehabilitation service.

Accompanying Bridget was Ellie Paterson MBE, Community Skills Relationship Manager and Gail Rogers, Interim Youth Offending Service Strategic Lead. Surrey Youth Offending Services have been supporting Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals for many years, generously donating hand crafted items to help patients and their families. This partnership gives young people the opportunity to make amends for the harm caused by offending behaviour and teaches them skills as well as empathy and understanding for others.

In NICU, they provide special wooden memory boxes for families who sadly lose a baby – a place to keep treasured keepsakes and memories. Whilst for our stroke rehabilitation patients they make a range of equipment to help with recovery and regaining motor skills. Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals Chairman, Andy Field, said: “It was lovely to welcome Bridget, Ellie and Gail to St Peter’s and I know they all really enjoyed taking a tour around NICU and the Stroke Rehabilitation Unit, meeting members of the team and seeing the equipment kindly donated. I would like to thank Surrey Youth Offending Services for their ongoing support; it’s wonderful to work together in partnership. Our patients and their families gain the benefit of high quality, useful equipment and I know the young people involved gain skills and confidence from this restorative justice initiative.”

Bridget Biddell said: “There are moments when as High Sheriff you see inspirational collaboration. The work done by young offenders at the Carpentry Workshop in providing memory boxes and wooden equipment for stroke rehabilitation patients at St Peter’s Hospital is one of these. The incredibly caring doctors and staff, on the special neonatal wards of St Peter’s are so appreciative of the beautifully made memory boxes and the help and comfort these can give to bereaved parents. The dynamic occupational therapists were hugely enthusiastic about the help that the imaginative wooden equipment is to the recovery of stroke sufferers. The benefits of this carefully considered collaboration are only too evident, but think again, and realise the value to the young carpenters in creating something for people who are at a time of suffering and in need of empathy. We need to do more of this positive and meaningful collaboration. Thank you to St Peter’s Hospital and to Ellie Patterson MBE for showing what can be done.”


Pictured above from left to right: Lara Jakubovic, Occupational Therapist; Emma Ketteringham, Physiotherapist; Ellie Paterson, Community Skills Relationship Manager; Bridget Biddell, High Sheriff of Surrey; Gail Rogers, Interim Youth Offending Service Strategic Lead; Andy Field, Chairman.


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