Patients dig garden makeover at hospital

21st Aug 2017

A hospital garden for dementia patients has been completely transformed – by a group of local business people.

Seven employees from West Bromwich Building Society joined forces with the Your Trust Charity, which is run by Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, to revamp the green space at Rowley Regis Hospital.

They gutted the garden at the site and set about creating a dementia-friendly space, with the carefully chosen colours orange and blue which help to stimulate sufferers.

They also planted sensory plants including lavender and violas – all in one day. And they are planning to return to add to the collection.

Jan Sanders, retail manager for the West Brom’s branches in the Dudley area, said: “It was very important for me to be here today as my father died in May after a battle with Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.  I believe having a sensory garden for the patients makes a huge difference to them and gives them a perfect place not just to relax but to rest and recuperate.”

The partnership came about after the building society contacted Your Trust Charity, to offer support in any projects that would benefit dementia patients.

Sarah Whitcombe, manager for the Eliza Tinsley ward at Rowley Regis Hospital, flagged up the garden as being in need of a spruce up.

Amanda Winwood, membership academy and fundraising manager for Your Trust Charity, went along to view the gardens with Jim King, communications manager from the West Brom, and they decided it was the perfect project.

Amanda said: “When we saw the garden we knew we could make a difference to it. It needed clearing and brightening up so our patients could make much more use of it. The plan was to use dementia friendly colours on the fence and furniture along with introducing a sensory area and raised beds to make it easier for patients to look after the plants, as part of their occupational therapy.

“The transformation is amazing and throughout the day patients were coming out to see what we were up to and commented how different it looks. We want to thank employees from the building society for all their help and dedication in this project.”

Jim King added: “While volunteering is seen as helping others, it is a gift in another sense – the pride and pleasure people get from doing a great job, which will benefit others.  I know the West Brom’s magnificent seven volunteers who helped restore the garden at Rowley Regis Hospital felt that today.  In that respect, it’s a case of expressing our gratitude to the Trust for giving us the opportunity to volunteer.”


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