Ambulance staff can relax as new wellbeing garden opens at Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Tranquil space for dedicated ambulance staff at new wellbeing garden. From left to right, Lesley Hal

Tranquil space for dedicated ambulance staff at new wellbeing garden. From left to right, Lesley Hall, Alfie and his mum, Beth, Steve Wootley and Fran Williams. Picture: EASTAMB - Credit: Archant

A wellbeing garden for under pressure staff at Huntingdon ambulance station has been opened - with the coronavirus crisis becoming an incentive to get the work done.

Now ambulance workers can take a break between callouts in the tranquil area created from a piece of neglected ground at the rear of the station at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

The garden had been planned for a long time but its construction was pushed forwards by the pandemic.

There was a major contribution from the local community and businesses in getting the garden scheme completed.

Steve Wootley, an emergency medical technician at the station who was a driving force behind the garden, said: “The pandemic was a real spur for us to crack on with the project and I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of local businesses and the community.”

Beth Langley and her son, Alfie, nine, from St Neots, who raised money for the project and were present at the opening.

Beth said: “Alfie wanted to do something to help the NHS and came up with the idea of a cake sale.

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“We donated the money to the wellbeing garden after hearing about it through a friend. It’s great for Alfie to see the finished garden and hear about the positive impact it is going to have for NHS workers.”

Lesley Hall, an operations manager at the station, added: “Having this tranquil environment for staff to relax between shifts is going to make a huge difference to morale and I want to thank everyone who has helped this project come to fruition.”

The garden includes ample seating for the staff who work out of the station while the walls are decorated with graffiti by a local artist Jonnie Barton.

Plants in the garden were supplied by Fran Williams, who was also present at the opening and thanked the contribution of the villagers of Hemingford Abbots and Hemingford Grey.

Fran said: “I wanted to help NHS workers, and this wellbeing garden seemed like a fantastic idea.

“I have a background in the NHS and without the dedication of NHS workers during the pandemic, we would be in a very different position. I would do anything to help them.”

People and organisations which contributed to the garden have been highlighted on a sign at the entrance.