STAFF, patients and their families at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), plus the surrounding local community, have a new dedicated green space to enjoy after Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity) funded the creation of a parklet, using donations from the charity’s COVID-19 Appeal.
In partnership with Camden Council, the parklet has been transformed from a bay parking space on Great Ormond Street into a green space, filled with plants and a seating area, giving people a moment of respite seconds away from the hospital’s front doors – something that the COVID-19 pandemic has made even more crucial.
The parklet will reallocate road space away from motor traffic, help mitigate pollutant fumes and improve the air quality. It is a key first step towards creating a healthier, more sustainable and child-friendly environment; something that both the Charity and the Hospital are committed to, demonstrated by GOSH becoming the first hospital in London to declare a Climate and Health Emergency in February 2021.
After teaming up with art students from Central Saint Martins who came up with some initial design concepts, the hospital then joined forces with Yes:Make, who developed the design and created the parklet in their workshop, using sustainably sourced timber. Once installed, the final stage was working with LDA Design on a planting scheme, which included Geranium, Aster and Amelanchier.
For the dedicated staff at GOSH, the seriously ill children who are treated there and their families, finding time and space for reflection can be difficult. Whether it’s a member of staff who needs a moment to collect their thoughts, or a family wanting a change of scenery, having a place to go and sit outside is crucial for wellbeing in an environment that can be stressful and challenging.
Kiki Syrad, GOSH Charity’s Director of Impact and Charitable Programmes, said:
“As an organisation, we couldn’t be prouder to have funded this parklet that has opened on Great Ormond Street.
“We’ve all seen and experienced the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we know that having a dedicated green space for members of the hospital and the local community to sit and reflect while being around nature will make a huge difference to everyone’s wellbeing.
“The opening of this parklet marks a key stage of our journey in making GOSH and the surrounding area a healthy environment for everyone, and we, along with everyone who helped bring the parklet to life, look forward to seeing this fantastic new green space enjoyed by GOSH staff, patient families and the local community for generations to come.”
Ava, aged 13 who was treated at GOSH for cystic fibrosis and is now a member of the Hospital’s Young People’s Forum, said:
“We have been talking about the parklet in the Young People’s Forum for months, so it’s great to now be able to see and enjoy it. We are all really passionate about clean air and creating the healthiest possible environment for the hospital, and the parklet is just one part of our ambition. It’s a really peaceful place to sit so I think GOSH patients, their families and the hospital staff are all going to make lots of use out of it.”