Green fingered volunteers needed to help tend Queen’s Hospital lavender garden in Romford

The lavender garden at Queen’s Hospital, Romford, is a beautiful outdoor space within the grounds which has been even more important during the coronavirus pandemic.

As well as serving as a place for staff to get some fresh air and time away from their busy jobs caring for their patients, it has also given Covid-19 patients who have spent several weeks in hospital an opportunity to get outside.

The garden is kept looking beautiful thanks to the dedication of volunteer gardeners, working with the King George and Queen’s Hospitals Charity, who give up their time to look after it, and now the charity is on the lookout for more volunteers to help.

Tasks include everything from general weeding, planting and pruning, to clearing pathways and keeping the garden tidy. Volunteers would also need to have basic plant and soil knowledge, as well as skills in identifying plants.

All tools and safety equipment will be provided, and it is hoped that volunteers would be able to commit some time on a regular basis over a long period of time.

Kathryn Halford, chief nurse and deputy chief executive at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We are very grateful to have such a lovely garden within the ground of our hospitals. It has proved absolutely vital during this pandemic, being widely used by all our staff, particularly clinical staff needing some time away and a chance to get some fresh air.

“It has also been a pleasure to see how our teams have worked so hard to enable patients who have spent several weeks in intensive care, to get outside. It really has made a huge difference to our patients. We really value those volunteers who have cared for our garden, and look forward to welcoming more in the near future.”

Anyone who thinks they could help and would like more information should email [email protected].

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]