The NHS Forest continues to grow with the help of KMPT!

Date added: 02 March 2022

We’ve teamed up with NHS Forest to help improve the health and wellbeing of patients, staff and local communities throughout the county.

NHS Forest is a national project, coordinated by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, which promotes preventative healthcare by increasing people's access to green spaces; helping local people to stay healthy and aiding the recovery of patients by using the benefits of the natural environment for therapeutic purposes.

Various KMPT sites have recently benefitted from the arrival of 70 tree saplings including oak, hornbeam, willow, spindle and box. These were all planted in late February by staff, service users and students from LINK19 and Canterbury Academy. The students involved were also provided with the opportunity to learn more about the NHS, its roles and potential career pathways, as well as discuss the possibility of adopting KMPT green spaces that they could tend to on a voluntary basis.

 Catronia Toms, Assistant director of integrated care partnership development said: “KMPT is passionate about creating a legacy of green spaces for the wellbeing of our patients and staff, alongside supporting the sustainability of our planet. When our voluntary services team saw an opportunity through NHS Forest to acquire a number of free trees, it was too good an opportunity to miss.

“Our tree saplings have all been planted now in partnership with our staff, service users and students, who are all playing their part in providing for future generations. It’s satisfying to think that so many people will be able to enjoy these beautiful trees for many years to come.”

Stephen Tucker, Voluntary services coordinator and manager of this project said: “Planting trees is a gift to our staff, patients, families, and carers; both today and in the future. This is just one step in a series of green initiatives to benefit patients and staff as we know that green spaces are good for our mental and physical health. We chose native hard wood species to help encourage biodiversity and hope to reap the benefits as they grow around us and support wildlife.”

Munya Badze, Kent and Medway youth volunteering project manager for the NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group said: "We are excited to have begun partnerships with Kent and Medway secondary schools, colleges and universities in developing volunteer programmes that 16 to 25-year olds can get involved with across our NHS partners. We are also developing a wide range of volunteer opportunities and programmes that allow those aged 25 and under to get involved in NHS services in a variety of ways.”