KGH to build outdoor gym with Captain Tom's fundraising cash

It will also continue with key staff support initiatives

By Sam Wildman
Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 11:29 am
Some of the types of outdoor gym equipment that will be on offer in KGH’s Pocket
Park to staff and the public (Picture courtesy of Wicksteed)
Some of the types of outdoor gym equipment that will be on offer in KGH’s Pocket Park to staff and the public (Picture courtesy of Wicksteed)

A new outdoor gym is on the cards for KGH thanks to charity funds raised by the late national hero Captain Sir Tom Moore

The Rothwell Road hospital plans to build the gym, with 12 exercise stations, in their pocket park area for staff and members of the public.

Subject to Covid rules, it's hoped it will be in place by the late summer using equipment from Kettering leisure company Wicksteed.

KGH Mindfulness Lead Sarah Fereday chats with James Donnelly in the Open Office.

Captain Sir Tom, who died earlier this year, raised £32.8m for NHS Charities Together’s Covid-19 Appeal by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday.

And KGH has received a total of £269,000 so far to support initiatives throughout the pandemic, including the outdoor gym plan.

Kettering General Hospital’s Acting Director of Human Resources, Paula Kirkpatrick, said: “We have been very grateful for all the support we have received during the pandemic both from our local community and organisations like NHS Charities Together.

“Captain Sir Tom Moore was an inspiration to the nation and his legacy has continued to help hospitals to cope with the pandemic and move on into the future.

Staff enjoying the We Care café which has been supported with funding from NHS Charities Together.

“He has helped so many NHS staff, across the country, through his fundraising."

Other initiatives supported include

- Funding their #WeCare Café, which opened in April 2020 and is safe place for staff to decompress and relax in their breaks. It has had more than 40,000 visits since its launch providing free teas and coffees and snacks.

- An Open Office Listening Service to provide immediate confidential support and signposting to relevant support services by staff. This service has reached more than 1,600 attendances since its launch in April 2020.

- A new Out of Office Pastoral Care/Mindfulness Support where staff listeners visit those areas most affected by the pandemic and providing a ‘locally’ accessible listening service to staff in a similar way to the Open Office. This has involved more than 90 visits since its launch on June 28, 2020.

- The trust has also received many thousands of meals through NHS Charities Together. The final 500 were delivered on March 31, 2021.

Jayne Chambers, who ran the trust’s We Care service during the pandemic, said: “These services have provided critical to the support of our colleagues and we want to continue to provide and expand them.

“Over the last year we have supported staff through initiatives like the We Care Café, Open Office and Out of Office and the outdoor gym will be another great outlet for people’s stress, support physical fitness, and enhance physical and mental wellbeing.

“The demand from staff for psychological support is likely to increase as the long term impact of the pandemic is felt.”

KGH has received funding from NHS Charities Together to maintain its We Care services for a further 12 months to March 2022.

Its services will also be expanded to include more trauma management training, specialist support for more complex issues raised in Open Office and outreach services and increased Mindfulness provision to ward areas.

Ellie Orton, chief executive for NHS Charities Together, said: “Captain Sir Tom Moore was a complete inspiration to us all and his memory lives on through the incredible programmes NHS charities have been able to fund.

“Thanks to his efforts, funds have reached the length and breadth of the UK through every one of our 241 member charities, and they have made a huge difference on the ground, both to address the immediate needs of patients and staff and to support the longer-term recovery of the NHS.

“His legacy will live on through the work of the Captain Tom Foundation.”