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Clatterbridge Cancer Centre collaborates with Local artist to design colourful memorial benches

1 year ago

Clatterbridge Cancer Centre collaborates with Local artist to design colourful memorial benches
Group shot of Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Radiotherapy staff and local artist Ian Ryall (back row, on right) with the benches

The team came up with the idea as a unique way of paying tribute to three staff members who all passed away within a few weeks of each other after different illnesses.

Radiotherapy staff from The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust have collaborated with a Liverpool artist to create three beautifully hand-painted benches at their Aintree cancer centre in memory of colleagues who sadly passed away in 2022.

Local mural artist Ian Ryall was commissioned to create custom designs that reflected each individual’s interests and personality for the three benches in the leafy garden courtyard that is so popular with patients and staff at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Aintree. 

The specialist radiotherapy unit is one of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centres three hospitals in Cheshire and Merseyside; the others are in central Liverpool and in Wirral. Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Aintree is located next to The Walton Centre and Aintree University Hospital.

A memorial bench
A memorial bench at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre

Radiotherapy Treatment Expert Practitioner Hannah Wilson said:

“It was a real group effort and we wanted to create something bright and beautiful in their memory. Losing three colleagues in such a short space of time was absolutely terrible and we will always miss them but the benches are a lovely way of remembering them and how much they contributed to Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Aintree.”

Artist Ian took his inspiration for the benches from conversations with staff who were close to the three staff members. One bench features sunflowers as they featured prominently at the staff member’s funeral. The feline inspiration for the second bench came from the staff member’s love of cats. The final bench features a space theme as staff said their former colleague was quirky and described her as “out of this world”.

A memorial bench
A memorial bench at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre

Radiotherapy General Manager Lesley Woods said:

“Obviously we miss them all terribly but the benches are such a nice, bright reminder of their huge contribution to The Centre. When people see the benches, they smile and it’s lovely to have something like this to remember them by.”

For artist Ian Ryall, the project was also very special. His sister, Michelle Forshaw, and niece, Georgia Forshaw, both work in the Radiotherapy team at Clatterbridge.

“It meant a lot to be asked to do something like this for their colleagues,” he said, “and I really enjoyed coming up with the designs with the team and thinking about what would work for the shape of the benches. It’s been great seeing their reactions as well and nice to know the benches will be something that patients and staff can remember them by for years to come.”

The benches will now be appreciated by patients, visitors and staff at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Aintree for many years to come.

For more info on Clatterbridge Cancer Centre click here.



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