A fundraising appeal to create a stunning outdoor garden for paediatric patients and their families has been launched at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH).
Alice Ward, the dedicated children’s unit at the Oswestry-based hospital, provides specialist advice, diagnosis and treatment for children between 0 – 18 years with bone, joint and muscular disorders.
Funding is needed to enhance the current garden area to ensure it is inclusive for all the children RJAH cares for, while being accessible throughout the day and during the evening.
The aim is to provide a private, safe, and stimulating environment which not only promotes health and wellbeing but will also offer a calming escape from the hospital environment for long term and returning patients.
Plans for the garden have been developed by volunteer Olivia Copley, who is currently studying for her Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) diploma, as well as completing a garden and planting design certificate.
Olivia also plans on going to the University of Sheffield in September to gain a degree in Landscape architecture. She said: “It is a dream come true to be involved in such a worthwhile cause and it has been a privilege to work alongside the dedicated staff, who care so much about their patients.
“I hope that the garden I have designed provides a sanctuary and a space for momentary escape for the patients, family and staff and contributes to the recovery for what can be life changing injuries.
“I have been fortunate to experience the joys of gardening and the outdoors from a young age, and I would love to pass on this passion to other young people.”
The beautifully designed garden will see the introduction of many therapeutic features, including a covered canopy, woodland walk, bridge, vegetable patch, hornbeam trail, garden room and moon arches.
Each carefully considered design feature provides a wealth of benefits to patients and families, from tranquil spots to observe nature, to rehabilitation zones and secluded weatherproof areas to host outdoor games and learning.
Polly Brown, Play Specialist on Alice Ward, said: “We’re over the moon that the money raised from this appeal will enable us to offer an inclusive outdoor space to be enjoyed by our patients and their families.
“Our main objective is to create a beautiful peaceful and sensory garden that will provide huge health and wellbeing benefits – something our patients and their loved ones thoroughly deserve.”
Victoria Sugden, Charity Director, said: “We want to make Alice Ward Garden a real sanctuary for our paediatric patients.
“Children attend RAJH for a variety of orthopaedic conditions during which time the hospital also becomes home, school and a place for play.
“Making the garden therapeutic and fun for our children and their families is really important to help their recovery, rehabilitation and wellbeing.”
If you would like to make a donation towards the garden, please visit the dedicated fundraising page: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/gardenforalice.
Pictured: Alice Ward staff and patients in the current garden. From left – right: Jack Titley, Logan Sellers, Jean Blakemore, Shannon Bate, Helen Portman, Zephaniah Mantack-Millwood, Ann Smith and Mohammed Sufyan.