NHS75: Chair of SHSC Sharon Mays leads tree planting and time capsule ceremony

Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust (SHSC) has today marked the NHS’s 75th birthday with a tree planting and time capsule burial ceremony at Grenoside Grange.

The event was the launch of the wider celebrations happening across the trust which includes a commitment to plant 75 trees over the 75th year, the publication of a specially commissioned poem, a fantastic prize draw for our dedicated workforce and a celebration event in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University on the NHS’s 75th birthday, 5 July.

Sharon Mays, Chair of SHSC, led the ceremony and touched on the importance of the NHS. She said: “The NHS treats over a million people a day in England and touches all of our lives.

“When it was founded in 1948, the NHS was the first universal health system to be available to all, free at the point of delivery. It is truly unique and treasured by so many patients and families.”

The Poet Laureate for Sheffield, Danaé Wellington, was commissioned by the trust to create a bespoke poem that honours the NHS for all it does.

Danaé has worked with service users and staff to produce the poem and gave a special reading of it at today's event. She said: “It’s been a privilege to help celebrate the 75 year legacy of NHS and the people that keep it moving.

“It’s a full circle moment as the NHS played a significant role in getting me back to health in my teenage years, so this is my thank you. What has stayed with me the most is the care, resilience and incredibly hard work of the staff and my hope is that this poem reminds us that the people are the legacy.”

On the tree planting, SHSC Chair, Sharon Mays added: “We are committed to sustainability and creating a greener NHS. This year we will plant 75 trees to mark each year of the NHS. We will plant our first tree today.”

The tree, a Sorbus Aspleniifolia, promises to add vibrant colours to our Grenoside Grange site and will provide not only a vital food source for the surrounding wildlife, but a quiet moment of reflection for all our service users, their families and our staff that visit throughout the year.

Alongside the tree planting, a time capsule was also buried to showcase the 75th year of the NHS for generations to come and it is hoped that in another 75 years it will be dug up as part of the NHS’s 150th year! Included in the capsule are:

  • A copy of our NHS75 poem
  • A newspaper from the day
  • Artwork from service users at Forest Close
  • A hello my name is... NHS badge

Attending the event alongside Sharon Mays and Danaé Wellington were Sarah Ellison, SHSC Sustainability Lead, Alan Hooper, councillor for West Ecclesfield Ward, and Susan Davidson, Ecclesfield Parish Chair. As well as members of staff from Grenoside Grange, the SHSC learning disabilities team and service users' family and friends.

Group photo of tree planting event