Chesterfield Royal Hospital gifted beautiful bench to thank staff for their hard work during pandemic

A company has gifted a beautiful bench to Chesterfield Royal Hospital to thank staff for everything they have done during the pandemic.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 2:42 pm
Updated Friday, 21st May 2021, 3:00 pm

The Royal is one of nine hospitals in the region to receive a bench from Derby-based Eggleston Steel.

Tony Hewitt chair of Eggleston Steel, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for us to be able to gift these pieces of steelwork to hospitals across our region.

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The beautiful benches on show. Pictures by AVIT Media.

“They are not only practical but a beautiful piece of artwork that allows users of the benches to perhaps remember in years to come the sacrifices many of our NHS and key workers gave during this awful period.”

Richard Hewitt, managing director, said: “It was a privilege to provide a lasting monument to many of the hospitals locally.

“I really hope that it allows patients and staff alike to rest and reflect while using them in the hospital grounds.”

It all came about when a woman called Maria White put a post on Facebook asking if her friends would be willing to donate to a JustGiving page to raise £1,200 for a steel bench to be made to honour the work of the NHS and key workers at Royal Derby Hospital.

Chesterfield Royal Hospital's bench.

This post came to the attention of Eggleston Steel, which agreed to provide a bench free of charge and any funds previously raised could be used elsewhere.

John Ready, operations director at Eggleston Steel, said: “For this bench we designed the back plate to show an ambulance, air ambulance, doctor and nurse, and we thought the idea of a rainbow over the top of them would be a great standout feature.

“We approached two loyal customers, Little Eaton Smithy and The Gate Maker, to ask if they would be prepared to make the bench and powder coat it if we supplied all the materials.

“The first bench was a great success and we were all proud of our combined achievement.”

Thank you, NHS!

He added: “After this bench was delivered to the hospital, Maria was approached by another hospital after seeing her latest Facebook post and she approached us again to ask if we would be prepared to make and sell one for another hospital in Derby.

“Our chair, Tony Hewitt, put forward the idea that we should supply benches to local hospitals in our delivery area free of charge, if the hospital required one.

“We contacted Chesterfield, Mansfield, Derby London Road, Nottingham City, Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, Loughborough and Ilkeston hospitals, all of whom said that they would love one.

“Eggleston Steel decided this time that we would fully fund these benches as a gift, so we once again supplied the steel back plate designs with each hospitals name laser cut into them and procured the services to pay for the benches to be fabricated and powder coated.”

All directors of Eggleston Steel with Maria White, front centre.

Mr Ready added: “I am proud to have played a part in this project providing the design and drawing for the backplate with Maria advising what she would like to see in the original bench.

“It is great that the hospitals have been chasing us for them and the feedback from them has been that they are extremely grateful members of the public are thinking of them by providing this sort of gift.”

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Left to right, John Ready, Richard Hewitt and Tony Hewitt, of Eggleston Steel.