Kim opens ‘Wilde’ therapeutic garden at Mildmay HIV hospital in Shoreditch
- Credit: Mildmay Hospital charity
Singer and broadcaster Kim Wilde has opened a newly-transformed courtyard garden used for therapy by HIV-Aids patients in London’s East End.
It was Kim’s first visit to the Mildmay Hospital behind Shoreditch Church, although she performed at its carol concert at Spitalfields Church last December.
“People and gardens belong together,” Kim said. “I know from experience the therapeutic and nurturing benefits of gardening and being close to nature.”
Kim planted a yellow Mildmay Rose and brought a plant from her own garden as a special addition.
The hospital transformed what was “a dull and uninspiring plot” into a therapeutic garden now teeming with life and colour.
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The new Mildmay was officially opened by Prince Harry in December.
He was tracing the steps of his late mother Dianna, the Princess of Wales, who famously supported the Mildmay in the 1980s. Dianna met patients on her last visit in February, 1989.
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The Mildmay is on the site of the old Victorian hospital opened in 1892.
But its origins stretch back to the work carried out in 1866 by The Rev William Pennefather and his wife Catherine dealing with the East End’s Cholera epidemic. Its two wards are named after them.
Catherine trained women to work with her among people living in the most deprived conditions with a personal approach that respected the dignity of the poor who came under her care, however degraded they might have become by their circumstances, just like Princess Diana did 120 years later.