Charity hopes to grow funds to create a specialist therapy garden

Local hospital charity – The Health Tree Foundation – has launched an ambitious fundraising appeal to create a specialist therapy garden in the heart of Goole hospital.

Goole Matron Kerry Owen with nursing staff who give up their weekend to help keep the garden tidy.

Charity manager, Clare Woodard said: “The charity’s aim is to raise £100,000 to transform a large courtyard area at Goole hospital and create a dedicated therapeutic sensory garden space – suited to all patients, those living with learning and physical disabilities, dementia and other conditions which may limit mobility.

“We also hope the new garden will be used by staff and visitors too and expect it to become an important part of the hospital site.”

Goole matron Kerry Owen and ward manager Tracey Ward have shared their vision for the garden.

Kerry said: “We would love to create a garden with lots of uses and benefits for all, with lots of elements to help engage patients such as a postbox, a bus stop, faux shop fronts, accessible raised flower beds for gardening therapies, plants, lights in the trees and stimulating artwork on the walls.

“Fruit trees, brightly coloured scented flowers, pots, herbs and vegetables will all add to the enhanced environment. It will benefit patients as well as nature.”

There is lots of evidence that gardens and gardening is beneficial to mental and physical health. For those patients with mobility issues, the garden will be a great space for outdoor physiotherapy sessions. Seats and benches will allow patients to enjoy the fresh air in a safe environment away from the often busy hospital wards.

The team in action.

Tracey added: “For dementia patients and those coping with confusion and memory loss, plants and flowers are proven to be good tools for reminiscence, with patients often remembering previous gardens from the sight and scent of plants and flowers. Other additions to the garden will include soothing music and sounds, lights and different textures of plants and trees.

“The garden will have many multi-sensory aspects and patients and visitors will hopefully enjoy lots of different experiences, from the gentle sound of trickling water, birdsong, wildlife, scented flowers and homegrown fruits and vegetables.”

Staff members and their families have already given up their spare time to volunteer each month to keep the garden areas tidy and are enthusiastic about rolling up their sleeves.

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