In October 2018 Macmillan Cancer Support asked me to design a bag for them. They asked me to base it on the mural I designed for the new Macmillan NGS Specialist Palliative Care unit that’s currently being built at The Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant, South Wales. I was thrilled to be asked! It seemed so sad that at most hospitals, possessions are returned to the families of recently deceased loved ones in a standard NHS carrier bag.
The mural at the new unit, opening later this summer, is designed to promote peace and reflection. I took my inspiration for the project from the Welsh landscape: rolling hills in the distance, with ethereal feathery ferns in the foreground. I worked alongside interior designer Elaine Lewis, and she created a soft colour palette of greens and greys which instantly transports the observer to a place of calm.
I was asked to produce a range of design ideas for the bag, which I did, and Macmillan – in partnership with the Cwm Taf University Health Board – chose the image below. The bags are made out of 100% recyclable woven polypropylene, sit comfortably on the shoulder, can be washed if necessary and show the same image on both sides. There is a small Macmillan logo on the side seam, written both in Welsh and English. I’m so proud of the way it looks – it allows people to take a little bit of the magic of the mural away with them.
3,000 bags have been created to begin with I am hoping so much that the idea will be rolled out to other health trusts and hospitals. It’s the little details like this – bags that show thoughtfulness and kindness – that can make such a difference to how people feel at a difficult time.