S Club 7 star Jo O’Meara unveils memorial bench at Rotherham Hospital
S Club 7 star Jo O’Meara made a surprise appearance at Rotherham Hospital last week to unveil a memorial bench dedicated to a healthcare assistant who worked there.
The bench, which was unveiled on November 26, is in memory of Adele Sheppard, a much-loved health care assistant in the hospital’s urgent and emergency care centre (UECC) who sadly passed away earlier this year.
Adele’s colleagues wanted to create a special space for staff to use for quiet reflection or for a moment for peace during busy shifts.
The bench overlooks a green area outside the UECC where Adele worked and has solar ‘tree’ lights so those on a night shift will be able to make use of it too.
Angela Knowles, operational and performance manager, was instrumental in the fundraising for the bench.
“Losing Adele had a big impact on the team in UECC and we wanted to do something in her honour,” said Angela.
“We had donations from colleagues throughout the trust which allowed us to purchase the bench, plaque and lights. We are so grateful to everybody who donated.”
Angela and health care A=assistant, Amanda Haynes, have been in contact with Jo since April 2020, when she dedicated her version of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ to The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust and all NHS staff.
Since then the trio have developed a close bond, so they knew just who to ask when it came to unveiling a project so close to their hearts.
Jo said: “It’s an honour to be here. I’m always happy to help in any way I can.
“Amanda and Angela reached out to me during lockdown as staff were working so hard and needed something to give them a boost. I was delighted to sing for them, and we’ve stayed friends ever since.”
Adele’s bench is now available for colleagues, patients and visitors to use.