New artwork commemorates former leading Fylde coast NHS figure

From left: Karen Crowshaw, Non Executive Director; Karen Ditchfield, Charlotte Cooper, Abigail Thornton, Rachel Cooper and Wendy Swift, Chief Executive (Interim) at the unveiling of the new artwork to commemorate Beverly Lester, former Chairman of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

A special piece of artwork to honour the memory of a leading local NHS figure has been erected at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

The intricate glasswork was produced by celebrated local artist Karen Ditchfield in memory of Beverly Lester, the former Chair of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust who sadly died in 2015. It now takes pride of place in the chapel at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Speaking at a special ceremony to hand over the artwork, Beverly’s daughter Charlotte Cooper, who attended the event with her sisters Abigail Thornton and Rachel Cooper, said: “It is a beautiful piece of art and I know my mum would have loved it.

“It is fitting that it is in the chapel as that was a facility she really fought to get in the Trust as she said it would be a place for patients, carers and staff to be able to use and enjoy.’’

She added: “We are really grateful to the hospital for putting it here and for everyone who made it possible. She was totally dedicated to the NHS and the family is really proud of everything she did.’’

Beverly Lester

Talking about the piece artist, Karen Ditchfield, said: “Every piece of glass was specially selected. We knew the effect we wanted and the colours we wanted.

“It was very labour intensive but we wanted to make sure we ended up with the finished product exactly as we wanted it. The hope is that when people look at it they will interpret it individually and see what they want to see in it.’’

The Interim Chief Executive of the Trust, Wendy Swift, added: “It really is a beautiful piece of art that I know will be enjoyed by everyone who sees it.

“It is an excellent tribute to Beverly because she was committed to ensuring our healthcare services provided the best care possible for patients and the best experience possible for the staff who worked here.’’

Beverly was Chairman of Blackpool, Wyre & Fylde Community Health Services NHS Trust from 1998 to 2002 and from 2002 to 2012 was Chairman of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, before her retirement on March 31st 2012.

The artwork was funded by donations made in Beverly’s memory.

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