30ft ‘Tree of Hope’ unveiled at Kettering General Hospital


Mural recognises the impact of COVID-19

A ‘Tree of Hope’ has been unveiled in the atrium of Kettering General Hospital to symbolise the impact of, and recovery from, the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 30ft-high hand-painted mural represents those who have lost their lives, those who have survived, and the work of hospital staff.

It is based on idea by Doreen Page – a recovery deputy sister in the hospital’s ear, nose and throat theatres.

She said: “During the pandemic I noticed that some intensive care units were commemorating patients lost to COVID-19 with symbolic hearts.

“I had an idea to take it further than that and to create a symbol of those who were lost, those who have survived, and something to mark the tremendous amount of work being done by NHS staff.

“The idea of the Tree of Hope is that its roots represent the hospital’s core values, deeply embedded in supporting its local community.

“The branches are our frontline workers swaying in the storm of the pandemic, but not breaking.

“And the leaves represent the survivors of the pandemic and also those who, sadly, lost their lives and should be commemorated.”

The mural was the idea of recovery deputy sister, Doreen Page

The mural was the idea of recovery deputy sister, Doreen Page

Page discussed the idea with the hospital’s We Care Co-ordinator, Jayne Chambers, and it was approved by group chief executive, Simon Weldon, and trust executives.

Local artist, Catherine Matthews, who has done previous murals on wards and in the hospital’s dementia garden–painted the mural on three boards fixed together to rise 30ft above the ground in the hospital’s Foundation Wing atrium.

Kettering General Hospital chaplain, the Reverend Neil Tyrer, said: “The mural is an important symbol that we must always hold on to hope, even in the worst of times.

“It commemorates all of those who have sadly died during the pandemic and the families left behind.

“It also recognises those who have survived COVID – including those who have spent long periods in hospital – and moved on from the most difficult of circumstances.

“The Tree of Hope also represents the extraordinary efforts from our staff on behalf of their local community; efforts that have not been without cost in terms of stress and fatigue.”

And director of human resources, Paula Kirkpatrick, added: “Doreen’s idea really summed up a lot of what everyone has been going through during this pandemic.

“The awful loss of life, the way in which people have recovered from COVID and moved on, the way the NHS came together to support its local community, and the way the local community supported this hospital with donations of all kinds.

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“I am delighted today that we have unveiled the Tree of Hope as a symbol of what we have been through together.”