A giant teepee has been set up at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough to give people a space where they can come together when they need it most.

The teepee is lottery funded and stands at almost 15ft tall. It arrived at James Cook on Wednesday 20 March 2019 and will stay for six months until September. It is set up at the atrium near the south entrance and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

It is a comfortable space furnished with comfy chairs, cushions and rugs and takes people out of the hospital environment. It provides a break from clinical surroundings with the aim of helping to improve people’s mental health and wellbeing – whether that’s patients, visitors, carers or staff.

The teepee has been loaned to us by Camerados, a social movement who believe that you beat tough times by getting two things: friends and purpose. And that the best way to get this is for people experiencing difficult times to help others in the same situation.

It’s a public living room: a space for everyone – staff, patients and visitors – to take time to come together when they need it most; to share experiences and help each other.

It is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is not staffed – although Trust volunteers are on hand to answer queries.

We’re really excited about having such a unique space in the hospital. So if you’re in James Cook any time soon, please try and take some time to pay our South Tees Teepee a visit.