A brand new wellbeing space to care for the mental and physical wellbeing of Royal Surrey staff has opened its doors thanks to more than £100,000 generously donated by the public.

The new permanent building was made possible thanks to a grant from the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 appeal and support by the Royal Surrey Charity.

The space will be exclusively used for the Trust’s health and wellbeing programme offering free holistic therapies and a variety of courses and exercise sessions, ensuring staff are nurtured, supported and re-energised after caring for patients during the pandemic.

Affectionately called the ‘Wellbeing Cabin’, its doors were officially opened on, Tuesday 5 October 2021, by Royal Surrey Chief Executive Louise Stead and HR Director Louise Hall who were joined by colleagues from across the hospital to cut the ribbon.

Director of HR Louise Hall said: “After millions of pounds were donated by the public last year, in support of frontline NHS keyworkers during the peak of the pandemic, we are delighted that some of the money has been spent locally here in Surrey.

“Staff health and wellbeing has never been so important and thanks to the generous support of the public we now have a protected space away from patient areas they can decompress, access support, and engage in a wellbeing related activity or just relax.”

 The Scandinavian-style wooden cabin is located within peaceful gardens in the rear of the hospital grounds. Staff will be able to benefit from a quieter space away from the pressures of busy wards.

Yoga, Tai-Chi and, Flex and Stretch classes have begun, whilst some of the junior doctors have been making use of the space after shifts, taking part in exercise sessions with colleagues. A full timetable of events will be rolled out this autumn. These will be available to all staff and will include access to Clinical Psychology services supporting individual mental health.

NHS Charities Together continue to award funding to hospital initiatives and the Trust was awarded the money to support its wellbeing plans. This comes after £33 Million pounds was raised by national hero Captain Sir Tom Moore last year, towards the appeal, thanks to his daily walking challenge around his garden ahead of turning 100. The appeal was also supported by Joe Wicks, premier league footballers, and thousands of other generous individuals across the UK.

A further grant from SC Johnson has funded the softer furnishings, ensuring staff can relax when visiting.

Louise Stead Chief Executive said: “Our staff have given so much during the pandemic; emotionally, mentally and physically. The introduction of our wellbeing programme and our new space, has given them a place that’s theirs away from the pressures of their patient facing work. It’s thanks to all the donations given that we could buy this wonderful new cabin and will be somewhere we hope to make good use of.”

Follow @royalsurreycharity on social media to see regular updates on how our cabin is benefitting staff across the winter.