The Appeal aims to fund new gardens for patients in Mynydd Mawr ward, a 15-bed elderly care rehabilitation unit, and Bryngolau ward, a 15-bed older adult mental health unit. The wards are located next door to each other on the ground floor of the hospital and have access to enclosed outdoor space. This space, however, is currently not in use and is not suitable for patients.
Luke Bennett, Charge Nurse on Bryngolau ward, said: “We have such high hope for the new gardens.
“Many of our patients have diagnoses such as dementia, so the spaces will have consideration for hard and soft landscape materials appropriate to dementia care.
“Importantly, they will be stimulating gardens which appeal to all five senses. Planting, artwork and installations will create something very visual and evoke memories. Native rich planting and feeders will encourage birds and other wildlife and provide birdsong.
“There will also be areas for edible planting, herbs and fruits to stimulate sight, touch, smell and taste. And tactile planting and varied textures underfoot will also stimulate the sense of touch.”
Gareth Phillips, Senior Charge Nurse on Mynydd Mawr ward, said: “We want the new gardens to provide tranquil spaces, but also to encourage activity. Multi-purpose areas will accommodate rehabilitation exercise, and gardening activities will keep patients active and engaged, using accessible planters which everyone can reach.
“Most importantly, everyone will be able to access the gardens. There will be spaces adjacent to seating areas for wheelchair users, and wheelchair-accessible outdoor furniture. Level and bound surfaces and handrails around the main walkways will increase safety and stability.”
Claire Rumble, Fundraising Officer at Hywel Dda health Charities, the official charity of Hywel Dda university Health Board, said: “These gardens are not simply going to be outdoor spaces, they are going to be transformative spaces. They will provide sanctuary and immersion in nature, and a place for patients to meet with family and friends; a place for relatives to take a break or enjoy privacy with their loved-one, and for staff to take a well-earned break.
“Nature and the beauty of the gardens will works wonders on mind and body and give all a sense of normality and life.”
Plans for the new gardens include sheltered outdoor spaces for dining, resting and therapy; smaller intimate seating areas for quiet contemplation; a potting shed for garden activities, and raised planters for both sensory and edible planting.
As well as welcoming donations, the Appeal is calling for non-monetary donations – for example, a piece of furniture or equipment for the garden, or plants and materials. the wards will also welcome volunteers to help maintain and grow the gardens once they are completed.
For more details about the charity and how you can help support local NHS patients and staff, go to www.hywelddahealthcharities.org.uk
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