June 8th, 2017
The chaplaincy team at Bradford Teaching Hospitals has placed a ‘Tree of Hope’ at Bradford Royal Infirmary to urge the city to unite in the wake of the recent atrocities in Manchester and London.
Members of staff and the public are invited to place a heart-shaped token on the tree, which stands in the hospital’s new atrium, to express support for those affected.
People are also being asked to commit to a simple act of friendship or generosity in their community by writing about it on the back of their token.
Instructions by the side of the tree state: “It [the act of friendship] can be a small thing or a big thing, just something that helps build community care, trust and respect.”
Chaplaincy staff hope the temporary initiative will help bring Bradford’s diverse communities closer together.
Trust and hope
Bradford Teaching Hospitals’ Christian chaplain Joe Fielder came up with the idea. He said: “The idea of having a bare tree which people can fill with messages of trust and hope popped into my head and seemed a good way to respond.”
Joe added that the key message following the atrocities should focus on the fact that we must stay united and not allow recent events to drive us apart.
“We must all remain together and we’d love everyone to get involved by leaving a pledge to improve their community on the tree. Everyone is welcome to do so.”
The heart-shaped tokens can be found at the foot of the real tree.
Bradford Teaching Hospitals’ Muslim chaplain, Maryam Riaz, said: “The tree will hopefully encourage further dialogue between our communities.
“It’s important that we talk to each other and ask questions, so that we’re not judgemental about people.”
Bradford Teaching Hospitals’ Sikh chaplain, Hoshiar Singh, said: “We want everyone to come down and participate – it’s open to everyone.
“We must come together as a Trust, a community and a city.”
Chaplains at Bradford Teaching Hospitals recently led minute silences to remember those affected by events in Manchester and London.
Books of condolence have also been placed at the main reception areas of the Trust’s hospitals should staff, patients or visitors wish to leave messages of support.