Maidstone Hospital and Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) and have joined forces to recognise all key workers across the borough who have continued to work during Covid-19.

Everyone from teachers, supermarket staff, volunteers, NHS staff, the emergency services and MBC teams have been doing an amazing job during challenging times. Communities have also pulled together, from collecting shopping and medicines for those shielding to people standing on their doorsteps clapping for key workers to show their appreciation for all their hard work.

To ensure the borough’s response to the pandemic is recognised year after year, Maidstone Hospital and the council have worked together to create a rainbow bulb garden and wild-flower meadow. MBC’s Grounds Maintenance and Park team prepared the ground and planted over 18,000 bulbs to create a flower garden at  the front of Maidstone Hospital which will bloom in spring – around the anniversary of the start of the pandemic, and the wild-flower meadow will be in bloom throughout the summer. The gardens will add colour and help attract bees and other wildlife.

Miles Scott, Chief Executive of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, said: “I am extremely proud of the way our staff responded to the pandemic and I know they have been very grateful for all the help and support they have received from the local community – from schools and local businesses to individuals, it has been truly amazing.

“Planting a rainbow bulb garden and a wild-flower meadow is a wonderful way of marking the pandemic in the long term and I, along with the rest of the Trust are pleased to be involved with this initiative.”

Alison Broom, Maidstone Borough Council Chief Executive, added:  “There are so many people across the borough in so many different roles from the NHS to supermarket workers, MBC waste services to teachers, they all  continued working throughout the pandemic and we wanted to let them know that we are so very grateful for everything they have done.

“These flower gardens are just a small token of appreciation, but we hope they will remind everyone of the difference these key workers made and continue to make to our everyday lives.”