Esperance Lions Club project to restore hospital courtyard begins

The Esperance Lions Club have started work on their latest community project, which aims to breathe life into a forgotten corner of the Esperance Hospital.

More than 10 volunteers from the Esperance Lions Club and Esperance Volunteer Resource Centre gathered on November 16, to begin restoring the overgrown hospital courtyard.

With the aim to complete the project by February next year, the group will be hard at work over the summer months turning the area into a sanctuary for patients, families and staff.

Esperance Lions Club member and project coordinator Peter Miller said he wanted to improve the area after spending time in the courtyard while his wife was in palliative care.

"The main aim is to create a better situation for hospital patients and their families so they have somewhere to sit and communicate out in the open air rather than in a confined room," he said.

"They have the choice to go out and see what the open sky looks like, and to give patients a better feeling."

Mr Miller said the new enclosed courtyard would feature a shaded area to sit surrounded by turf, plants, succulents, bushes for privacy, garden beds, native plants and a sensory garden.

The space will also feature a mural created by Esperance Community Arts.

Esperance Hospital acting operations manager Margaret Smillies said the internal courtyard would be a safe and private place for patients and families to escape to.

"It was really good timing with the redevelopment coming to an end at the hospital because that was one area that we didn't have any funding for," she said.

"I think the staff are really appreciative of the Lions Club for stepping in, so they can take our elderly or young patients out and they are going to be able to sit out there with their families to relax and feel safe."

The Esperance Lions Club was founded in 1968 and has been serving the community for 51 years.