23 October 2017
Volunteer gardeners at the Royal Free Hospital have been praised for their ‘amazing job’ in transforming the landscape around the building by Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq.
Tulip last week (Friday, 20 October) made a special visit to thank the Royal Free Charity gardeners for their time and dedication to improving the garden areas.
She met lead Royal Free Charity volunteer gardeners Linda Grove and Charlotte Gascoigne, along with Dr Chris Streather, Royal Free Hospital chief executive, who thanked the gardeners for making the area more attractive for patients and visitors.
Tulip said: “I had my baby at the Royal Free Hospital nearly two years ago and this is a huge transformation. The volunteers have done an amazing job and the end result shows how dedicated they have been to their work.
“Gardening isn’t just about making places look pretty it’s about tackling loneliness and improving mental health. It’s a huge ‘bravo’ from me for all the volunteers.”
Tulip was shown around the beautiful gardens which have been transformed by volunteers giving up their time, whatever the weather.
Last autumn the volunteers worked on the flower bed on Pond Street by the A&E entrance extending the path for children to run through and filling it with spring bulbs and flowers followed by summer plants. Their main focus has been to remake the beds in the car park and outside the main entrance. This involved many days of digging and bringing in nine tonnes of soil before the planting could begin.
The result is a colourful display throughout spring and summer, a marked change from earlier years. As well as improving the environment around the hospital, the volunteers have enjoyed working together and have received many expressions of thanks from patients, staff and local residents.
Richard Scarth, director of operations, Royal Free Charity said: “We’re really proud of the volunteers’ achievements and are delighted to be able to support such a fantastic project.”
The Royal Free Charity exists to help patients, staff and visitors of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. It covers all sites that fall within the remit of the hospital trust: the Royal Free London, Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital.
We annually invest over £15m into the hospitals we support through providing services ourselves, supporting research and new facilities and investing in helping patients and staff. We also provide over 600 volunteers to help everyone who visits and uses the hospitals.
For further information, visit https://www.royalfreecharity.org/
Notes to editors
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About the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
The Royal Free London’s mission is to provide world class expertise and local care.
We attract patients from across the country and beyond to our specialist services in liver, kidney transplantation, haemophilia, renal, HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, vascular surgery, cardiology, amyloidosis and scleroderma. We are a member of the academic health science partnership UCL Partners, which brings people and organisations together to transform the health and wellbeing of the population.
The Royal Free London is one of four trusts across the NHS to be chosen to develop a group model enabling us to share services and resources more effectively across hospitals to improve the experience of patients and staff. More information is available here https://www.royalfree.nhs.uk/the-royal-free-london-group-model/
Barnet Hospital, Chase Farm Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital are part of the Royal Free London group, and North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust became its first clinical partner in September 2017.
For more information about our group structure visit www.royalfree.nhs.uk/the-royal-free-london-group-model and for general information about the trust visit www.royalfree.nhs.uk