Glorious garden for Grantham Hospital patients - with plans for 117 more
Work on a brand new bespoke garden was completed at Grantham Hospital this week – with plans to transform more than 100 other outdoor areas within the grounds.
Local charity GROW, which stands for Gardens Restore Our Wellbeing, has transformed the garden on Ward 6, which caters for stroke patients undergoing rehabilitation. It now boasts 300 plants, 500 bulbs, garden furniture and pathways.
It will also provide a much-needed space for family and friends to go when visiting their loved ones.
The idea for the garden came originally from an appeal by the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) which asked for people to ‘adopt a garden’. Nikki Applewhite and Emmy Shelton, of Applewhite Garden Design, set up the GROW charity to carry out the work.
ULHT set up a licence with GROW to ensure the gardens will be cared for and become a lasting benefit to the health and wellbeing of patients, therapists and staff.
Work started 18 months ago with fund-raising efforts from staff, patients and the people of Grantham. It was boosted by a generous donation of £9,500 from League of Friends of Grantham Hospital .
The design of the garden is comprised of curves, “as a path bends, it invites you to slow down and take in your surroundings, winding paths to offer a deep experience of therapeutic relief and respite and give a chance to reflect and wonder”.
Nikki said: “The garden has cost about £19,000. This came in over budget because we decided to use resin paths so wheelchairs and even beds can negotiate the garden. This will include garden furniture and tables that wheelchairs can park underneath so occupational therapists can give patients tasks.
“By next spring, there will also be lots of seating, benches and tables.”
Ward 6 sister Tracey Pemberton said she is excited about the difference the garden will make to patients on the ward.
She added: “We are delighted that the charity has been set up to develop the garden areas at Grantham Hospital. The area outside Ward 6 was disused and not really useable as a garden. They have transformed it into a really nice space that will be lovely to use during the warmer weather.
“We will be able to bring patients out here to enjoy some fresh air and we hope staff will be able to use the garden during their breaks. It means such a lot that someone has done this for us. It will make a huge difference to the ward.”
It is the first of several gardens in the hospital that GROW plan to design and build for patients, visitors and staff.
Nikki added: “There are a 118 pieces of land or small gardens in Grantham Hospital, and GROW’s ambition is to transform all these into gardens. We are focusing on the Outpatients garden next.
“Grantham is a small hospital but one with exceptional staff and a terrific community spirit.
“Most importantly GROW will be responsible for the continued upkeep of the gardens, and will put in a maintenance scheme that local volunteers can join for the gardens continued upkeep.
“Thus the gardens will not only benefit patients and staff but will provide a volunteering community.
“A connection to nature is never more important when we are ill.
“This is when our sense of isolation and vulnerability are heightened so I passionately believe nature is essential to our health and wellbeing”.
To make a donation, visit www.growcharity.co.uk