Gardens at a specialist dementia ward at St Martin’s Hospital in Bath are to be transformed this summer as part of an annual competition.
The gardens are located at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust’s Ward 4 at St Martin’s Hospital.
Users, carers and staff are set to benefit from the improved outside space, thanks to AWP’s official charity Headlight, which is sponsoring the transformation of ten green spaces across the Trust’s sites as part of the charity’s annual AWP in Bloom competition.
Outside spaces, including ward gardens, will be nurtured by green-fingered locals to create spaces of calm and relaxation.
Ward 4 is a 12 bedded dementia assessment unit providing care for people with dementia.
Staff have teamed up with colleagues from their local Sainsbury’s store at Frome Road in Bath to transform the gardens.
As part of the 150 Years of Sainsbury’s volunteering initiative, colleagues from the store are being released on a weekly basis until October to assist with the summer makeover.
Lucy Noall, Occupational Therapist, said: “It’s fantastic to have the support of the local Sainsbury’s and its colleagues from the Frome Road store.
“Being a part of AWP in Bloom has also really enhanced the working experience of all staff involved and has been a great way of establishing links with the local community and businesses.
“Mental health can affect everyone and involving the local community in projects like this helps us to raise awareness that mental ill-health exists beyond an NHS service or ward environment.”
The overhaul of the gardens is expected to be ready in time to participate in the judging for AWP in Bloom in September.
The competition is an initiative led by the Trust’s charity, Headlight, to create relaxing, useable spaces for service users, carers and staff.
Iain Allen, Sainsbury’s Food Services Colleague and former landscape gardener, said: “As a former landscaper I really have enjoyed getting back to my passion.
“I really take pride in my work and our collaboration with AWP. It has given me a sense of fulfilment because we are all a part of this community, as Sainsbury’s has been for the last 150 years.”
The gardens at Ward 4 are used widely, with service users being encouraged to garden or take some recreational time outside.
Many of the users opt to take their one-to-one time with staff in the gardens.
Beyond the transformation of the gardens, users, carers and staff have also been able to enjoy other relaxing activities, thanks to Sainsbury’s, including music from a cellist, entertainment from a magician and an arts and crafts workshop during the service user’s communal high tea.
If you are interested in donating your time and skills to this and future projects, contact Headlight’s Fundraising Manager Tia Shortall on 01225 362 964 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.