West Sussex Growers create hospital garden

Members of West Sussex Growers' Association (WSGA) have created and planted a garden for keyworkers at the new NHS Nightingale Hospital in East London.

WSGA nightingale_73089Richard Sabin, of Chichester-based firm Biotecture spearheaded the project, gathering a team of volunteers from companies within WSGA, a specialist branch of the NFU. The team then spent several days putting together the chosen plant combinations, transporting plants to London and then planting up this new well-being garden for NFU staff.

WSGA nightingaleplants_73090

Mr Sabin said: "I was blown away by the support we received and we will be making a video to give full recognition of the part played by everyone, including several members of the West Sussex Growers’ Association.  All willingly volunteered and it was a very humbling , and rewarding, project to lead.  At the end of the installation day, I was approached by an NHS director who said: 'This is incredible.  I cannot begin to say what this will mean to the staff working at the hospital.  Thank you so very much and please pass on our thanks all involved'."

Up to 1,600 NHS staff will pass through the new greenspace every day and Mr Sabin has received further queries from other NHS trusts interested in creating well-being gardens. The project has already been showcased by BBC South Today. The NHS Nightingale Hospital is housed within the ExCeL London convention centre in East London, and has an initial capacity for 500 patients, with potential for 4,000. The hospital was rapidly planned and constructed amid the Covid-19 pandemic, being formally opened on 3 April and receiving its first patients on 7 April 2020.