Fundraising launched to create stunning garden for patients with spinal cord injury

Release Date: 23/06/2017

Fundraising launched to create stunning garden for patients with spinal cord injury

A stunning Horatio’s Garden is coming to The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, offering a sanctuary for patients with spinal cord injury.

A capital appeal has been launched to raise the £675,000 needed to complete this ambitious project at the Oswestry-based hospital.

Horatio’s Garden is a national charity that creates and cares for stunning gardens in NHS spinal injury centres and the garden in Oswestry will be the fourth they have done.

Garden Therapy Area
Scoial Spaces and Garden Room
Bunny Guinness and Dr Olivia Chapple
Horatio's Garden in Salisbury

Dr Olivia Chapple, Chair of Trustees at Horatio’s Garden, said: “We are very excited to have been invited to create a garden at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital and to bring Horatio’s Garden to the Midlands.”

The garden will be created by Bunny Guinness – one of the country’s leading garden designers, who is a familiar voice to fans of Gardeners’ Question Time on BBC Radio, where she is a regular panellist.

Bunny Guinness added: “The area will be divided up into five different spaces – it will be the most beautiful sanctuary, which will be here for years to come to enhance the stay of patients.”

The main garden will wrap the spinal unit so that all patients’ rooms will have a view.

There will be a garden room ensuring the facility is used throughout the year, social spaces, garden therapy areas and even a screen for cinema evenings with a wood burning stove providing heat on cooler days.

Flowing water, private spaces and a woodland pathway will also contribute to an overall sense of calm and wellbeing.

Mr Joy Chowdhury, Clinical Lead for Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries (MCSI), said: “This is going to really make a difference to our patients. 

"It will not only help them in their physical wellbeing, but more so with their psychological wellbeing.  We are so grateful to Horatio’s Garden for agreeing to create this space, and to our League of Friends for their magnificent support.”

Janet Johnson, a patient on the unit in Oswestry who was paralysed in an accident at home, said: “I have been in my hospital bed for several weeks, just looking at the ceiling.

"The opportunity to go into a sensory garden would be truly amazing. After feeling so trapped in your room, to go outside and feel fresh air, touch the plants, hear the birds; it would be a dream.”

It is being part-funded by the hospital’s own League of Friends and will surround the hospital’s spinal injury centre. 

The Lady Trevor, Vice Chairman of the League of Friends, said: “This is an exciting project and it is one of the largest that we have been involved in. We are delighted to be making a significant contribution towards the scheme.”

Sir Roy Strong, former director of the National Portrait Gallery and Victoria & Albert Museum and renowned broadcaster,  has joined the charity as an Appeal Patron.

He said: “This is a brilliant, beautiful project for a brilliant, beautiful charity. Such a garden lifts the spirits away from what must inevitably be a functional building for the care of patients. “

The appeal for £675,000 has already raised £126,000.  The aim is to raise the total amount over the next year so work can start in autumn 2018.

There are many ways to donate to the project:

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