TV presenter Lorraine Kelly visited St George’s this month to officially open our new garden area outside Atkinson Morley wing.

The garden, which has been jointly funded by the Trust, St George’s Hospital Charity, and NHS Charities Together, has been completely transformed with new plants, walkways and places to sit.

The transformation was filmed from start to finish for ITV’s Lorraine, as part of the show’s mental health campaign You Care We Care, which is helping hospitals across the UK introduce wellness areas for staff.

On Tuesday (1 December), Lorraine visited St George’s for the garden’s official opening. Lorraine, who was treated at St George’s in 2012 following a horse riding accident, said she was delighted to return and say thank you to our staff once again.

Lorraine was joined by members of our intensive care, garden, and estates and facilities teams, as well as garden company Bowles & Wyer who designed and constructed the garden. The event took place outside, and social distancing was maintained at all times.

Thanks to the hard work and support of our Head Gardener, John Greco, and our garden team, the project was completed in just five weeks.

Work on the garden started in October, when Dr Hilary Jones – Lorraine’s resident doctor – visited and talked to staff about the impact of Covid-19 on our services, and the importance of staff health and wellbeing, particularly given the demands of recent months.

Separately, the area at the back of the Ingredients restaurant at St George’s has also been transformed into a new Wellbeing Hub for staff.

Both projects have been made possible thanks to a grant from NHS Charities Together, whose most famous fundraiser – Captain Tom – raised over £30 million earlier this year doing laps of his own garden.

Amerjit Chohan, Chief Executive of St George’s Hospital Charity, said: “Now more than ever, it’s important that we have spaces like this which offer a quiet and relaxing place away from the hustle and bustle of hospital life. The garden looks fantastic and we’re delighted to have supported it.”

You can watch Lorraine’s visit to St George’s here: