Media Release

QEH launches sculpture to celebrate life

Today, Wednesday 26 October 2022, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn (QEH) has unveiled a sculpture – named the Tree of Life – that allows members of the public an opportunity to celebrate the life of a loved one.

Heike Schaefer, End of Life Care Educator at the Trust, was inspired by art installations which she had seen in other hospitals to honour life, and the ‘Tree of Life’ is her brainchild.

Heike wanted to create somewhere that patients, members of the public and staff could sit and contemplate. Heike said: “I noticed that there wasn’t a place where relatives could retreat, celebrate the lives of their loved ones, and celebrate what their lives meant to them.”

The ‘Tree of Life’ has been commissioned by the hospital’s Charity League of Friends, which is a registered charity (No 207406), and was sculpted by Mark Reed, a local artist.

Mark Reed said: “This project has really been a labour of love, and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. The creation took over a year-and-a-half to complete and the tree has seen every season.”

Mark’s wife Hannah added: “The hospital is also significant for the family as it is where my husband’s father died following his battle with cancer, and where our first child was born.”

The tree is stands at 4.6 meters tall and is designed to celebrate life in our community with its 2,000 stainless-steel leaves.

Penny Hipkin, Chair of the League of Friends, said: “We are proud to have gifted this sculpture to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. We hope that it allows many people to celebrate the life of a loved one by donating a leaf and engraving it with their own personal message.”

Graham Ward, Acting Chair at QEH, said: “I am delighted to launch this very special tree. It sits in a very peaceful corner of the hospital. It truly is magnificent.”

Leaves can be purchased with your own special engraved message for £10 donation.

For an online form please go to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust: tree of life (

People can request paper forms from Lydia Radford, Fundraising Support Officer at QEH by phoning 01553 613309 or by emailing


For further information, please contact Communications Team, or 01553 613216.

Notes to editors:

About the League of Friends:

  • The League of Friends is a registered charity (No 207406)
  • Since 1953 its band of volunteers have raised millions of pounds which have been spent for the hospital
  • They continue to buy specialist equipment and fund projects to enhance the environment and further improve patient care

About Mark Read:

  • Mark Reed has been sculpting since 1995
  • He works predominantly in metal, casting the bronzes himself and physically shaping the forged steel which is transformed often from the original concept as he sculpts- a cipher for memories and emotions that are both personal and universal
  • Mark has produced many commissions and his work can be found in collections in four continents. He has exhibited extensively at Chelsea Flower Show and in sculpture parks and exhibitions throughout the UK

To download the press release and photos, click here.