Ruth Gardiner, a recent patient using the completed gardens said: “I walked around the garden with my physio, it was beautiful and I also sat out with a cup of tea when my son came to visit. The lights are lovely when they come on at night.” June 2017
Following a consultation period work started in June 2016 to transform two under-used outdoor spaces in to specialist therapeutic gardens to enhance patient recovery. The gardens have been designed with the needs of patients at their heart. One of the gardens will support dementia patients whilst the other will support stroke and rehabilitation patients.
They did it!
Over £135,000 was raised. The support has been overwhelming and donations came from over 200 individuals, community groups, businesses and hospital staff. Supporters skydived, trekked, climbed Snowdon and put on events. Over 120 individuals volunteered giving up 865 hours of their time, many returning more than once. Our Immense thanks go to them all.
How the garden will support patients with dementia
Dementia is a long-term condition which has a high impact on a person’s health, personal circumstances and family life. A number of studies have shown the benefits of therapeutic gardens and horticultural activities for patients with dementia.
When people with dementia can freely use outdoor areas, agitation and aggression are reduced, independence is promoted. The garden has been designed to stimulate the senses and encourage memory recall.
How the garden will enhance neuro-rehabilitation and stroke recovery
Neuro rehabilitation patients are at high risk of depression due to prolonged hospital stays. The garden is quiet and peaceful and designed to provide a sanctuary away from the ward.
Stroke is not just a condition of the elderly; the ward also cares for younger stroke patients. Having an outside space that is safe to be used allows more freedom for family visits.
The garden has been designed to help patients build muscle strength and balance, enjoy their therapy sessions in the fresh air and take part in horticultural activities.
Work began in July 2015 with a design brief put together by nursing staff, therapists, dementia experts and input from patients. After consultation, Chris Valiantis of Tectonic was enlisted, he is an Architectural Landscape Garden Designer who is also an ex-patient. Plans were drawn up for further staff and patient feedback.
The fundraising appeal was launched in November 2015 and work began in June 2016 but had to stop in the cold winter months between December 2016 and February 2017. The gardens were completed in June 2017.
Free Enfield’s Mayor
On 15 April 2016 the Mayor of Enfield, Coucillor Ekechi was locked in to the patient garden at Chase Farm Hospital to raise money towards the Dementia care garden. She raised over £1,500 on the day braving the cold weather and pouring rain. See the pictures of her adventure!
Source Royal Free Charity