Horatio’s Garden at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) have benefitted from a further generous donation from the hospital’s League of Friends.

The League of Friends has handed over another fantastic donation to Horatio’s Garden totalling £1000. This is thanks to the help of some local fundraising undertaken by kind supporters during lockdown.

Horatio’s Garden is a national charity creating and nurturing beautiful gardens in NHS spinal injury centres to support those affected by spinal injury.

The garden at RJAH, which is based in the Midlands Centre for Spinal Injuries (MCSI), officially opened last September with terrific support from the League of Friends.

The hospital Friends were involved in the project from the offset, engaging with Horatio’s Garden in 2017 with a proposal to bring the garden to Oswestry, this was led by League of Friends Vice-Chairman, Lady Trevor.

The League of Friends were thrilled to be able to provide a cheque for £260,000, more than double the amount they had originally pledged to raise towards the garden and this latest cheque will be the third direct donation.

Imogen Jackson, Head Gardener, said: “’I am delighted to accept this wonderful donation from the League of Friends, which will help us to keep the garden looking beautiful all year round. Thanks must go to them for their ongoing support, particularly during these difficult times.”

During the pandemic the garden hosted an array of events and activities with the hospital Friends gladly supplying the added extras; from sunglasses and party decorations to afternoon tea and non-alcoholic Pimms for an MCSI Sports Day.

Over the past 50 years the League of Friends has always supported MSCI; by providing volunteers to carry out essential non-clinical support, to assist with patient feeding and even providing IT lessons for patients.

The pandemic proved a testing time for the hospital Friends but their support did not waver. Standing shoulder to shoulder with the hospital the Friends worked hard to provide equipment, such as Facebook Portals that allowed patients to have visual communication with their loved ones at a time when visiting was restricted, organising snacks to keep staff fuelled, managing gifts and donations and a number of activities to boost morale.

Rebecca Warren, MCSI Ward Manager, said: “The League of Friends has always been incredibly supportive, from fundraising for the garden to providing those special added extras for patients. We’re very lucky to have them.  Horatio’s Garden has been a lifeline to our patients during this difficult time, what a blessing it has been, I am just so grateful to everyone who made it possible.”

Lady Kenyon, League of Friends President, said: “It’s just wonderful to see the garden looking so beautiful. The League of Friends has supported the garden from the very beginning thanks to the drive of our wonderful Vice-Chairman, Lady Trevor, and we continue to be delighted with the comfort and space it provides to patients.”

Pictured:  left to right: Lady Kenyon (League of Friends President), Victoria Sugden (League of Friends Charity Director), Imogen Jackson (Horatio’s Garden Head Gardener), Rebecca Warren (MCSI Ward Manager).