Rowley planting the seeds to help recovery

30th Apr 2013

Rowley Regis Hospital is providing patients with green fingers an enjoyable way to rehabilitate.

The Henderson Unit, which helps patient’s rehabilitation at the hospital has been running a gardening club every Wednesday morning with the help of community health group ‘Ideal for All’.

Research in America has shown that if people are exposed to greenery outside of their windows, they recover quicker.

Jake Winup, Occupational Therapist, said: “The patients enjoy the group very much, and we have had a lot of quality feedback.

“There has been some research that says that giving patients a meaningful activity can help with rehabilitation. It is also a positive thing for those patients who can’t access a garden.

The group has been running for a year, and due to patient feedback being excellent, Rowley Regis Hospital and the Leasowes Centre in Smethwick have both signed up for another year of the horticultural therapy.

Patient and group regular, Brian Smith, said: “I have always been a gardener. I used to do a lot before I had my stroke.

“I look forward to the group as I haven’t done any gardening since my stroke six years ago, now my wife has to do it.

“You can put the world to rights when you are gardening, think about all your achievements and problems and you just get the sheer joy of gardening.”

Another group regular, Barbara Nowak, said: “I have wanted to get my arm lifted and this group has helped that.

“I had to stretch for the spade, which was good therapy for me, and after doing that things got easier.

“I am not a gardener but I am enjoying it and have loved what I have been taught.”

Rowley are also offering a free referral service for the group, meaning that ‘Ideal for All’ will visit people to get their gardens growing at home. Ideal for All have also been commissioned to improve the hospital’s garden to bring a more pleasant view for patients.

Tess Price, ‘Ideal for all’ Horticultural Therapist, said: “I think it’s a nice way of socialising and gardening is very therapeutic. Gardening helps from a patient point of view as it is physical, mental and social activity. It also helps with team work and communicating with others.

“Gardening is a positive thing for people who have had a health breakdown as it can make them feel better and removes the element of having lost something.”

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