This year’s Aqua Shard Xmas tree is helping Great Ormond Street Hospital

A gigantic seven-metre-tall Christmas tree has just been unveiled in the Aqua Shard, and it’s all in aid of a very good cause: Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), the Bloomsbury institution that’s been treating seriously ill children for more than 170 years. ‘Bridgerton’ star Phoebe Dynevor was there to celebrate, along with young GOSH patient Grace, who helped unveil the glittering display, designed by McQueens Flowers. The tree is full of quirky tributes to this world-leading hospital, including a robin for its Robin Ward, which treats infectious diseases, and a lion for its Lion Ward, which looks after children with cancer.

Right now, Great Ormond Street Hospital is fundraising as part of its Christmas Appeal. It wants to raise cash to build accommodation so that parents can be close to their sick kids over Christmas, as well as to fund research into kinder treatments, and to make its wards into child-focused places where patients feel safe and calm. 

Aqua Shard is contributing to these efforts by creating a special dessert, the Christmas Bauble, a spiced chocolate-and-pear mousse that’s decorated with little chocolate animals: for each one sold, it’ll donate to GOSH’s Christmas Appeal. 

GOSH has a long and fascinating history in London, beginning as just ten beds in a seventeenth-century townhouse. Famously, author JM Barrie donated the rights to his much-loved story ‘Peter Pan’ to GOSH, filling the hospital’s coffers for decades and decades to come. Now it’s known for pioneering new treatments that let poorly kids enjoy Christmas after Christmas with their families: why not donate so it can last another few centuries? 

Here’s where to volunteer in London this Christmas.

This year’s most outlandish Christmas trees, ranked.