CamdenNewJournal

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MP Tulip Siddiq visits community garden planted on hospital wasteland

'Gardening helps tackle isolation'

27 October, 2017 — By Tom Foot

The MP is shown around the garden worked on by volunteers

TULIP Siddiq has praised “amazing” community gardens planted by volunteers on former wasteland outside the Royal Free Hospital.

The Hampstead and Kilburn MP made a special visit to Pond Street on Friday where she met volunteers Linda Grove, Charlotte Gascoigne and the new chief executive of Royal Free, Dr Chris Streather.

Ms Siddiq said: “I had my baby at the Royal Free Hospital nearly two years ago and this is a huge transformation. The volunteers have done an amazing job and the end result shows how dedicated they have been to their work. Gardening isn’t just about making places look pretty, it’s about tackling loneliness and improving mental health. It’s a huge ‘bravo’ from me for all the volunteers.”

For years, a group of volunteers have been sprucing up the barren flower beds outside the A&E entrance to the hospital. They have spent many days digging and bringing in tonnes of soil before the planting. The Royal Free Charity, which backs the scheme, said it was “really proud”.

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