Hampstead Heath Autumn Walk

Hampstead Heath Autumn Walk – On Saturday, November 4th, the Neuro team from St. George’s Hospital will unite for an 8-mile, heart-warming walk through the scenic Hampstead Heath Park, marking their 3rd annual walk. These meaningful journeys are not just about distance; they are about bringing hope, one step at a time. They aim to raise vital funds for The John King Brain Tumour Foundation Charity, which over the last two years has been raising funds to create the John King ‘Forest in the Sky’ Garden.

Adjacent to the Neuro Intensive Care Unit, the garden will offer a restful space for critical care patients, carers, and loved ones at what can be an extremely difficult and traumatic time. By reacquainting patients with the outside world, it can also help hugely with rehabilitation. The garden will be situated on the first floor of the Atkinson Morley Unit, immediately accessible from the Neuro ICU, to benefit the well-being and recovery of an estimated 7,000 patients, visitors, staff, and therapists each year.

A 2016 Kings Fund report “Gardens and health” concludes that “gardens are intimately connected to our health and wellbeing”, including for recovery from illness and in end-of-life care.  Studies cited in this report conclude that “patients who had a view of nature from their hospital beds had shorter post-operative stays and less consumption of painkillers” and that “beautifully designed and maintained gardens .. accessible for patients in beds and wheelchairs … promote the wellbeing of patients … as well as their family and friends”.

Renowned retired neurosurgeon Henry Marsh CBE, Patron of the John King Brain Tumour Foundation once remarked, “Hospital design, for one – such grotty places, they are grim and unfriendly.” To address this, he took it upon himself to install a breathtaking roof garden adjacent to the Neurosurgical Wards at St. George’s. His vision was to transform the hospital experience, minimising stress for patients, as he firmly believed that stress hinders the process of recovery and healing. Today, this lush rooftop oasis is lovingly maintained by the John King Brain Tumour Foundation. It has become a cherished sanctuary for our patients, a space where healing and serenity harmonise. The garden also provides the opportunity for our frontline staff to breathe in fresh air away from the busy wards, which has been proven to support their mental and physical well-being, reducing stress and enabling them to perform their duties efficiently whilst working in the most difficult circumstances.

“Last week I spent 4 days in Brodie Wing, Atkinson Morley Unit, St Georges following surgery for removal of a meningioma. I found life on the ward extremely noisy, bright, and exhausting thus was delighted when I discovered the roof garden. Whenever I could I took my blanket and lay on one of the recliners enjoying the beautiful flowers and appreciating the wonderfully designed garden. It brought me great joy at a time of great stress. Thank you for providing this for patients”…

We kindly ask that you consider making a donation as your contribution, regardless of its size, will have a profound impact on the lives of our patients, their loved ones and our dedicated staff.

Hampstead Heath Autumn Walk

For more information about the John King Brain Tumour Foundation and the Neuro ICU Garden please contact Alison Houghton at or 07931 316278

You can donate to the Neuro Team JustGiving page HERE

The garden is due to be completed in 2024, your support will ensure that the Forest in the Sky Garden benefits generations to come. Together, we can create a space of hope, healing, and resilience.