Paul Deol, the Surrey branch manager for McElhanney, first brought forward the idea to revitalize a part of Surrey Memorial Hospital Children Health Centre. The idea eventually became a new playground that opened earlier this summer. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Health care

VIDEO: Story surrounding new playground at Surrey hospital a real ‘tear-jerker’

Dad began planning after his son had surgery in Surrey and he saw too many sad faces

Paul Deol and his wife were waiting for their son during a one-day surgery at Surrey Memorial Hospital Children’s Health Centre, when he got an idea to help liven up the place.

“I was looking around and people were very sad… and it just didn’t feel good. I thought, ‘You know what? This sucks. We can do something better,” Deol said. “There can be a better place.”

Deol is the Surrey branch manager for McElhanney, a surveying and engineering company that has been around for nearly 110 years. He said the Surrey branch was also celebrating its 50th anniversary and wanted to do something to commemorate that.

The company had done a few projects in Green Timbers Park, along with a salmon release but were “still looking for a grand idea,” Deol said. After sitting in the hospital, Deol decided to ask McElhanney if the company was willing to do a project at the hospital.

From there, Deol said he reached out to Surrey Memorial Hospital and met with members of the hospital foundation who said the playground at the children’s health centre had “fallen into disrepair” and didn’t meet the needs of the kids.

“It needed a lot of help,” he said.

Sharon Butler is senior director of corporate partnerships and philanthropy at the Surrey Hospital and Outpatient Centre Foundation. She said the children getting treatment at the health centre weren’t really using the older playground.

This all began in October 2016, Deol said. He said the new playground took a year to plan, a few months to fundraise and a few months to build it out. The playground officially opened in July of 2018. Deol said the work was led by McElhanney and BA Blacktop/Eurovia BC.

Butler said the nurses even had a helping hand.

“They could see the process… and all the nurses were involved in it in just making sure everything was child-friendly, they had tons of input and they helped Paul with the vision because they knew what the kids would want and what the families needed,” Butler said.

The new playground has new flooring, a hockey area, a basketball hoop, benches for families to sit, stackable foam blocks and some interactive elements. The playground, however, doesn’t have as much in the way of things to climb, Butler said.

“It’s different from most playgrounds where there is tons of stuff to climb. We had to be very cognizant… These kids can’t be further injured, so it has a big space where they can really run and get fresh air.”

Asked what his favourite part of the playground was, Deol pointed to the wooden throne and table.

“There used to be a few large tree stumps; they were cedar stumps, and they looked beautiful, but they weren’t functional.”

Deol said the wooden structures were re-finished by Ryan Cook who was on HGTV’s Timber Kings.

The entire project, Deol said was with the help of volunteers. McElhanney donated $25,000 and1,447 hours of employee time to the project, according to information from Deol.

“It’s a tear-jerker. I get pretty emotional when I think about it,” he said. “I’m really impressed with everybody that came together to contribute, and everybody that we asked to help; nobody said no.”



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

 

Photo: Lauren Collins Surrey Memorial Hospital’s Children Health Centre recently got an upgraded playground.

Photo: Lauren Collins Surrey Memorial Hospital’s Children Health Centre recently got an upgraded playground.

Just Posted

Surrey MLA says EHT tax causing police funding cuts

Marvin Hunt says Employer Health Tax is ‘hammering’ schools, hospitals, law enforcement

Vancouver police officer from Surrey charged with sexual assault

Jagraj Roger Berar, 51, of Surrey, charged in incident alleged to have happened in Whistler

Help Delta Heritage Society learn more about items in its collection

DHS is reviewing its collection to prepare for the opening of the new Delta Cultural Centre

VIDEO: Surrey mayor decries ‘alarming frequency’ of ‘mob violence’ after another brawl

Surrey RCMP urge the public to come forward with information about those involved

Falling tree crushes front of SUV carrying South Surrey woman, granddaughters

City confirms ‘failure’ has triggered risk assessment of Croydon Drive trees

VIDEO: Disney Plus adds disclaimer about racist stereotypes

Disney’s disclaimer is a good way to begin discussion about the larger issue of racism

B.C. woman seeks return of jewelry box containing father’s cremated remains

Sicamous RCMP report handmade box was stolen from a storage locker

CN Rail confirms job cuts as weakening economy cuts into freight volumes

Railroad also said it was affected by a slowdown in the B.C.’s forestry sector

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

New case of vaping-related illness in Quebec brings national total to 8

Quebec health minister considering tightening the rules around vaping products

Greens to vote against Liberal throne speech unless carbon targets toughened: May

Green leader Elizabeth May and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met Friday, discussing common ground

Toxic smell returns to Abbotsford elementary school raising health concerns for students, teachers and parents

King Traditional Elementary suffers daily from neighbouring waste-storage facility’s stench

First Nations ‘optimistic’ about road upgrades after Horgan visits site of fatal bus crash

Premier travelled Bamfield Main road, where bus flipped last September and two students were killed

Delays seen on some Metro Vancouver bus routes as transit strike ramps up

According to TransLink, routes in downtown Vancouver are bearing the brunt of the delays

Most Read

l -->