The University Hospital of North Tees is set to build a therapy garden to benefit stroke and dementia patients. It comes after our charity, North Tees and Hartlepool Together, was successful in a grant application for £150,000 – funded by a 5p cup charge at Starbucks.
The North Tees Kaleidostroke Therapy Garden, forming part of the hospital’s stroke unit, will provide support to stroke, dementia and elderly patients and their families as part of their hospital care. It will also be a welcoming green space where discharged patients can make use of the provisions.
How will the garden help?
Featuring walking rehabilitation facilities, specialist equipment for building muscle, cognitive learning activities and plants and vegetables for patients to tend to, the aim of the garden is to:
- Improve patient rehabilitation – both physical and cognitive
- Allow patients to regain their independence
- Provide holistic therapy in a space away from the distractions of a ward
- Allow patients to find new hobbies and interests and to also share these with others
Paolo Cordero, matron of the hospital’s stroke ward, said: “I’m really excited and so grateful for this funding. The garden will be great for our patients because our focus isn’t just on their physical health, it’s much more about their mental health than it ever has been before.
“The effects of old age, dementia and stroke are profound. Although we support our patients to regain as much independence as possible while they are in our care, being in unfamiliar surroundings and away from home can be a frightening, disorientating and upsetting experience.
“The garden has been purposely designed with our patients in mind to provide physical and mental rehabilitation. But it will also allow patients time and space to process what has happened and the emotions this brings, with support from clinical staff and their families.”
The garden has been designed to actively engage patients in one-on-one therapy sessions as well as group therapy sessions, including speech and language, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and psychology. It also boasts rest and relaxation areas so that patients can enjoy time away from the clinical ward with their visitors.
The garden can be used by discharged patients as well as those receiving care in the community outside of therapy hours.
“Over the moon”
Our Trust is one of ten organisations across the UK Programme awarded a grant through the Greener Communities Fund. The programme supports projects to create or improve green spaces for the health and wellbeing of NHS staff and patients as well as local communities.
Suzi Campbell is fundraising coordinator for North Tees and Hartlepool Together. She said: “I’m over the moon that we’re able to bring this green space to life for our patients. This garden will make a huge difference to our patients in hospital and in the community as they recover from the impacts of a stroke or dementia. A huge thank you to Starbucks and NHS Charities Together who made this possible.
“I’m really looking forward to working with our estates team and stroke ward to bring this project to life.”
The therapy garden will feature:
- Low maintenance planting
- Raised vegetable beds
- Artificial grass
- Walking rehabilitation tracks for both mobile patients and those in wheelchairs
- Textured surface training
- Sheltered dining area
- Seating area for family visits
- Games corner
- Cognitive learning activities
- A selection of specialist equipment to aid muscle building
- Integrated ambient lighting