Background In 2015 the staff at Wirral Hospice St John’s had identified that the hospice garden was an uninspiring ‘sea of green’ that patients and families gained little from. Whilst patients enjoyed garden views from their beds, there was a lack of interaction with the outside world and very few areas for quiet reflection.
Aim The hospice undertook a three-year project to transform the garden into an inviting and reflective sanctuary for patients, families and staff. The garden will enable enhanced interaction and increased rehabilitation potential through the range of new activities provided.
Method Over four open days, staff, volunteers and patients transformed the garden into a beautiful landscape of flowers, trees and modern art. This also required the engagement of the wider public in the form of individuals, community groups and corporate teams. There was much positive media attention surrounding this work and the garden will be opened by Dame Patricia Routledge in June 2019 over the course of a two day open garden weekend.
Expected results The feedback from those patients who volunteered to help in the transformation has been overwhelmingly positive, providing them with feelings of empowerment and ownership. This has been recognised by BBC North West Today who awarded the hospice the Dianne Oxberry Sunshine Garden prize from Tatton Park Flower Show 2019.
Conclusion The hospice now has a wonderful space that all can enjoy.
Innovation/of interest As a result of this transformation, patients can partake in a range of activities including Nordic walking, golf and working in the communal vegetable patch.
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