A bench installed and paid for by volunteers to allow somewhere peaceful for NHS staff to sit down has been destroyed – but another group has stepped in to help
The Vernatt’s Volunteers who look after the Vernatt’s Nature Reserve put in the two benches 18 months ago at the back of the Johnson Hospital in Spalding
But one of those was found to be completely destroyed at the weekend.
The man who helped organise the installation, Piet Boekestijn found out about it at 5am on Sunday morning as he got home from a holiday in Cornwall.
But hours after his rant about the damage on Facebook, Keira Williamson of the Spalding COVID Kindness Team stepped up to pay for brand new benches with funds left over from the scheme.
Piet said: “The bench has been smashed completely to pieces and thrown in the ditch as was the laminated sign on it that said thanks to the wonderful NHS were also thrown in the ditch about 600 to 700 yards away.
“The metal that held it together has gone. We’ve no idea where that is.
“I was so angry having found out after driving for hours back from Cornwall.
“But just hours later Keira from the Spalding COVID Kindness Team, of which I was a very small cog, called to help.”
“The benches we installed were all second hand but now we’re working on ordering even better benches.
“It’s a wonderful gesture from the Kindness team and will help allow the hospital staff to continue to have a place to sit when they’re having a break from the fantastic jobs they do.”
Keira said: “The Friends of Vernatt’s Drain fundraised for the benches and they do a brilliant job of keeping that space looking lovely for the community.
“It’s specifically for those who work so hard at the Johnson Hospital and provide them somewhere to sit down on their breaks.
“Piet has also done so much for the Kindness Team and it’s nice to give something back to him and the community as a whole which is what we’re all about.
“Though we’ve very much wound down at the moment we’re not naive enough to think a second wave might not happen so we’re ticking along and able to help out when we’re needed.”