A garden at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show will celebrate the tireless work of NHS staff, as well as commemorating all key worker efforts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finding Our Way: An NHS Tribute Garden is designed to mark the efforts of all staff who cared for people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Designed by Naomi Ferrett-Cohen for the University of Oxford and the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH), the garden came to fruition following conversations between Naomi and Professor John Frater, an Infectious Diseases consultant at the University of Oxford and OUH, following their collaboration on a previous garden in 2018.
John had witnessed first-hand the dedication and collaboration during the pandemic, and suggested they create a tribute garden in honour of the incredible frontline staff of the NHS, the scientists researching COVID treatments and vaccines, and all the unsung heroes who have kept the country running in so many ways, in such challenging circumstances.
John said: “One of the main things that has resonated with me over the past 18 months is the sheer sense of teamwork and working together for a common cause – not just across the NHS, but with the University of Oxford too and all the research that went into develop the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“By giving people a peaceful place, we hope that people will be able to reflect and take the time to acknowledge the significant team effort not just during the pandemic, but as we move forward.”
Naomi said: “It is an honour to be asked to design a garden as a tribute to the huge effort and teamwork from NHS staff and key workers during the pandemic. We hope that everyone can enjoy the garden and that it will be a space to pause and reflect on the immense commitment from so many that has helped us through these unprecedented times.”
Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive Officer at OUH, said: “This is a wonderful gesture to say thank you to all the people who have worked tirelessly during this pandemic.
“The sentiment applies to so many – those on the front line, and those who work behind the scenes. Everyone has played their part in helping us tackle COVID, and this garden is a beautiful way of showing gratitude.”
For more information, please visit the RHS website.