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Garden named in memory of hospital friend and cook

PUBLISHED: 06:30 18 June 2016

Friends of All Hallows Hospital in Ditchingham, open a new rasied garden in memory of Pat James who worked at the hospital for nearly 30 years. 

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Friends of All Hallows Hospital in Ditchingham, open a new rasied garden in memory of Pat James who worked at the hospital for nearly 30 years. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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A lasting legacy has been created at a village hospital in memory of a dedicated member of staff who worked there for nearly 30 years.

A plaque in memory of Pat James at the garden. 

PHOTO: Nick ButcherA plaque in memory of Pat James at the garden. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Pat James died of cancer last year, but was a cook for All Hallows Hospital in Ditchingham for more than two decades.

As a keen fundraiser, Mrs James was a long standing member of the Friends of the hospital and helped to raise several thousand pounds by holding a street party every year where she lived.

She asked for donations from her funeral service to go towards the Friends funds, who decided that the £2,200 raised would be used to build a special outdoor area.

And on Tuesday the Friends unveiled ‘Pat’s Place,’ a raised garden outside the daycare unit where patients can sit for quiet reflection time.

It was dedicated by Howard Green, chief executive of the hospital and official opened by her ex husband Harry James.

Family, friends and former colleagues all gathered for tea and cake after served by kitchen assistant Janice Gilham, her friend and colleague for 27 years.

Mrs Gilham said: “She came in to help out when someone was off sick as a cleaner and never left. She was the best friend that anyone could wish for, so kind and thoughtful.”

Pat Blakeburn, chairman of the Friends of All Hallows said: “She was a very sweet person, a lovely looking girl, she was very much loved and a very active member of the Friends.”

Mrs James worked as a cleaner, kitchen assistant and then cook and was there at a time when the nuns still lived there.

The planters and boxes were donated by a garden centre in Gillingham.

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