Julia Redmayne, who works as a radiographer in the X-ray department at Palmer Community Hospital, noticed how an outside space at the facility in Jarrow had become unused and in dire need of attention.
And she jumped at the opportunity to put the courtyard forward as a project when she heard her son’s employer, the Co-op, was looking to give back to the NHS by transforming an outside space.
“My son Jamie, who works for Co-op’s Property department, had mentioned to me that they were looking do some charity and community work – specifically small landscaping or ground works.
"I immediately thought of the courtyard,” said Julia.
“The courtyard at Palmer Hospital is a lovely area for staff to enjoy, however it was unused and needed some attention.”
The work completed by Co-op and its partners included cleaning the existing paths and building new raised beds for plants.
And the project is not quite finished yet. New picnic benches will be installed in the coming weeks so hospital staff can take a well deserved break in the fresh air.
Jamie Redmayne, senior facilities manager at Co-op said: “The Co-op Property Team really wanted to give something back to the NHS following their amazing efforts during the pandemic.
"I mentioned this to my mam who works for the NHS at Palmer, when she mentioned the courtyard I knew this was a great idea with outside space needed more than ever.”
Staff have been thrilled at the transformation work, and grateful to the Co-op for stepping in.
Steve Jamieson, Director of Estates, Facilities and Clinical Engineering at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust said: “We were delighted when Jamie got in touch to offer the Co-op’s services in helping us transform the courtyard.
"This charitable effort has created a vastly improved outdoor space that staff can enjoy throughout the summer and beyond. On behalf of the Trust I’d like to thank Co-op and everyone involved.”