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St Thomas’ nurse masterminds ‘spectacular’ new gym to help staff recover from Covid-19 impact

A nurse at St Thomas’ hospital has got a “spectacular” new gym built that overlooks the river Thames, as part of the hospital’s efforts to help staff recover from the mental and physical impacts of working through the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new outdoor gym overlooks Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the river Thames. It is free for staff and patients to use and accessible for people in wheelchairs.

Some of the equipment can convert the energy generated by users into electricity so that gym goers can charge their devices as they work out.

Neonatal nurse Marie Hines, who had the idea for the new gym, said: “Having volunteered as a personal trainer at a GP referral gym in London and through teaching yoga, I have seen how important exercise is to help with both physical fitness and emotional wellbeing.

Marie Hines (in black) at the garden gym

“As a nurse at St Thomas’ Hospital, I felt we could also offer this support to our own patients, by having an outdoor gym where they could maintain independence, fitness and socialise with visitors away from the ward.

“I am very grateful to our charity for their support and hope patients and staff will make the most of this gym that has the best view in London.”

The gym was built with funds from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.

Avey Bhatia, Chief Nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “We know that getting outside and exercising has real benefits for our physical and mental health. Now, as we recover from the pandemic, focusing on our wellbeing has never been more important.

“It is absolutely fantastic that thanks to donations to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity we have such a great facility here at the hospital that people can use for free.”

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