Published on 31 March 2020
The mystery behind a crop of blue hearts that appeared overnight at the William Harvey Hospital has been solved.
Matthew Newbury, who owns MJN Gardening, based in Ashford, ‘planted’ them as a way of showing his gratitude to East Kent Hospitals staff during the coronavirus outbreak.
Mr Newbury, whose wife Andrea Newbury has been a nurse for more than 20 years, recruited children from Victoria Road primary school and Hamstreet primary school thanks to teacher Jill Evans. The youngsters made paper hearts and pictures to show their appreciation.
He said: “I know NHS staff always go the extra mile for a service they are passionate about.
“As well as my wife, who is a cardiology sister at William Harvey, I have family and friends who work for the service, and customers who are doctors, nurses and surgeons.
“With the global virus all around us, these people have stepped up even further, to take the situation in hand and prove why we have the best health service in the world.
“The display of hearts is my way of showing my gratitude for everything they do.”
Mr Newbury’s firm makes garden obelisks for customers and he used these to display the metal hearts, which were made by his staff.
Other materials were supplied by Four Seasons Fencing in Bethersden.
He said: “I wanted to create a similar scene to the poppies at the Tower of London.
“It was done at short notice, but it was a great team effort to show our appreciation for these heroes of the nation."
And he urged others to get involved, by making their own blue hearts to display in their windows.
He added: “Most of us have time on our hands at the moment and this would show that we care and would be a wonderful gesture for NHS staff.”