The Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability (RHN) is the big building on West Hill and has been part of the Putney community for many years. The RHN is a charity that supports patients with profound disabilities arising from brain injuries through treatment and care, and also provides support for their families. A large number of patients are permanent residents at the hospital and, to them, it is home.
The RHN have huge fundraising targets on an annual basis (£3.4m for 2019) and are generously supported by thousands of people across the UK. But parts of the beautiful building are in need of development and they have some exciting developments in the pipeline. The RHN board have turned to a group of Interior Design Degree students, based at KLC School of Design in Chelsea Harbour, to re-design several areas within their buildings. As well as redesigning the communal relaxation area – a space that overlooks beautiful views across the landscaped gardens where patients and families spend time together – the students are designing a shop, a first for the hospital.
The heritage of the buildings spans over 200 years, with some parts full of beautiful original architecture. However, other parts are a little more aesthetically challenging and do not contribute to the feeling of home and community that the RHN want to create. That is where the students and you, the neighbours of the RHN, come in.
Whilst financial donations are always very welcome, this request is much more valuable than money. The students and the RHN want to strengthen the bond between the Putney community and the hospital. It is so important that we do everything we can to improve the facilities and enhance the lives of those that use the RHN.
The shop has been designed to cater for the 220 patients and families, as well as the 650 staff, and will be installed within the main thoroughfare of the building. It will sell daily essentials such as milk, bread and newspapers but they will also be selling gifts and cards. A fantastic place to offer reintegration back to daily activities for patients, the RHN would love to be able to stock items that have a link back to the local community. Do you make or sell goods locally that you would like to stock in the shop? Are you an alternative therapist such as an aromatherapist that would like to work with the patients and families? Or, perhaps you are a student at a local beauty college that would like to practice your training in an alternative setting?
In the same vein, the art therapy department sees the patients creating some beautiful contemporary art and the opportunity to display and sell this in local businesses such as cafés could bring more awareness to the charity. Is this something you could help with?
The students are at the early stages of the project but would love for you to contact them with offers of goods and services, including skilled craftspeople such as carpenters, artists (particularly of graphic artwork or large scale mural art), lighting or commercial flooring suppliers and hardware or paint suppliers. No matter how ‘out there’ your idea or offer is please, contact them via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the RHN visit www.rhn.org.uk