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Last April, Huntingdonshire District Council committed an additional £20,000 to the Community Chest Grant Scheme funding pot to provide further financial support to local community organisations and projects, assisting local people in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding has allowed projects to begin up and down the district, providing help and support to local communities that have been impacted by the pandemic.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital Tree of Life project was one of the successful projects that received a Community Chest Grant of £1,000 in September 2021. The ceremony, which takes place today (23 March), will see the Tree of Life being revealed with a dedication plaque to those who funded the project. The tree is a metal structure, located in the hospital gardens and can be used by all staff to reflect and remember other colleagues. The ceremony also marks National Day of Reflection, supporting the millions of people who are grieving, and remembering the family, friends, neighbours and colleagues have been lost over the last two years during the pandemic. 

Executive Councillor for Community Resilience and Wellbeing, Cllr Simon Bywater, said: "The Tree of Life Project is one of many that the District Council has supported through our Community Chest Grant scheme.

"Our NHS workers have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and continue to do this during challenging times.

"This project will help us all to remember and reflect on a period where we sadly lost many members of our community.

"As we mark two years since the pandemic begun, we should all take a minute to reflect with one another and continue to support all those who have been affected."

Assistant chief nurse, Laura Stent said: "It’s such a lovely idea to have a beautiful metal tree to which we can add a leaf with a name as a reflective memorial for any staff who have worked at Hinchingbrooke Hospital and have sadly lost their lives.

"We are grateful to Huntingdonshire District Council for joining with North West Anglia Hospitals’ Charity to help make it happen."

Tree of life at Hinchingbrooke Hospital