Determined ward sister brightens the lives of patients at Milton Keynes Hospital

A nursing sister who ran an incredible 2,018 kilometres has brightened up the daily lives of patients and fellow staff at MK Hospital.

Naomi Avery, senior sister on Ward 23, set herself the challenge of running 2018 kilometres in 2018.

The official opening of the mural

The official opening of the mural

Her mammoth effort means she raised £3,441, which was used to create a series of murals on her ward.

Milton Keynes Hospital Charity matched Naomi's donation and the combined total paid for and illustrator Rob Cowan to be recruited.

Rob spent a considerable amount of time talking to patients about their local memories, and to Naomi about what she wanted included in the murals.

He said: “It was fascinating to hear so many stories and memories from patients, including people who had actually worked at places like Bletchley Park and the Wolverton Works. The nine murals can be viewed on their own or patients can follow the journey round the ward – the idea being that each one is a talking point of familiar landmarks, to help patients reminisce and to give them a stimulating focus during their stay on the ward.”

The final scene in the mural depicts Naomi at Buckingham Palace - where she was invited to a garden party to celebrate her fundraising success.

She said: “When the murals were installed, we immediately saw a change in the patients on the ward – they were so much calmer. Patients can walk around on their own, with family, staff or carers, and we’ve provided activity cards and colouring packs based on the murals for them too.

“It’s great to see that the hard work has paid off; the murals have already made such a difference. Thank you so much to all my family, friends and the hospital charity for their support. I couldn’t have achieved all this without them.”

For more information on how fundraising for Milton Keynes Hospital Charity enhances patient care and experience, visit their website here.

Our picture shows from left to right Rob Cowan, MKUH Chief Executive Joe Harrison, Mayor of Milton Keynes Cllr Sam Crooks, Ward Sister Naomi Avery and her colleagues, friends and family officially opening the murals.