13 Oct 2023
London’s Air Ambulance’s wellbeing helipad garden – situated on top of The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel – was nominated into the finals of The London Garden Society’s ‘patio, roof or balcony display’ category and awarded second place.
The London Gardens Society is a registered charity that has been established for over 100 years and its aim is “to make a permanent contribution towards beautifying London by the growing of flowers and shrubs thus improving the urban environment”.
Our wellbeing helipad garden was developed in May 2022 and offers crew members and visitors a relaxed environment to spend time in in between dispatches. The development of the garden was partially funded by a Helipad Wellbeing Fund, which aims to protect and safeguard our crew’s mental health and was founded by Dr Yoshimi DeLeon – one of London’s Air Ambulance Charity’s Innovation Circle members.
London’s Air Ambulance Pilot Andy Thomson said: “Dr Yoshimi has been an amazing advocate for our crew’s mental health and wellbeing. Her support has helped our people be at their best mentally, which means they can be at their best for our patients.
“Our garden is maintained by both crew and charity volunteers and we all put a lot of time into it. The helipad garden is a beautiful spot for us all to enjoy and we’re so proud to have reached the finals for this award.”
The awards took place in Guildhall on 12 October and were attended by members of London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade, alongside garden society members. We work very closely with LAS and the fire brigade when attending to London’s critically injured. LAS also employs and remunerates London’s Air Ambulance paramedics, who typically join us for one-year secondments.
London’s Air Ambulance’s Flight Paramedic, Rachel Peacock, who helped set up the garden, said: “London’s Air Ambulance sees some of the sickest patients in London and in order to be our best we need to look after our mental health and wellbeing too.
“The helipad garden benefits everyone working on our helipad. It makes me smile every time I see it. During covid the creation of this space was vital and it continues to be as a place to decompress, destress and reflect.
“I found a love of gardening in my ambulance station and I recognised the benefits to myself and my colleagues. I’m so proud to have been a small part of this project.”
London’s Air Ambulance Charity held a stall at the ceremony, spreading the word that we are a charity, with 96 per cent of our funds reliant on public support.
We’re honoured to have been nominated for this award and would like to thank The London’s Garden Society for their recognition. Congratulations to Camden who came first place in our category, London Fire Brigade who came third and all the other winners. Happy gardening!