Back in June, I wrote about my first visit to Harefield Hospital and the beautiful new Healing Garden that had been created by the efforts of the hospital’s supporters and friends.

Last week I was privileged to be able to attend the official opening of the Garden. It’s eight years since I joined the charity sector, so you could say I’m approaching my veteran years, but I have to say I was incredibly touched by the simple, heartfelt ceremony and all that it represented.

Tim van Someren, a double lung transplant patient, told us the story of how his life was turned upside down by sudden and serious illness; the role the hospital played in saving him; and the importance of quiet and reflective spaces in the hurly-burly of a hospital.

Television presenter Gabby Logan – who had given up her time to open the Garden for us –talked about her own personal connection to the devastation that heart disease can cause, and her deep understanding of what a space like this would mean for families and friends visiting patients at the hospitals.

But above all, I was struck by the unflagging and inspirational energy of the two supporters who made this project happen. Rosie Pope and Catherine Perry, inspired by the care their son and father respectively received at Harefield hospital, moved mountains – and a considerable amount of earth – to make this garden a reality. It took eight years to raise the £250,000 needed, but the result is there right by the hospital entrance, already making things just a little bit better for patients and staff, every day.

To my mind, Rosie and Catherine epitomise what fundraising for our hospitals is about. People coming together to make a difference for those facing the biggest challenge of their lives.

Thank you for your support, now and always