North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

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Part of Enhancing the Healing Environment

Date started: 1 Nov 2004
Organisation: mental health
Service: mental health
Project: gardens

Project location

The Derwent Centre, Princess Alexandra Hospital

Aims and Outcomes

The garden, though actively used for occupational therapy, had become overgrown and little used and the overall aim of the project was to make it a place for relaxation, therapeutic activity and socialisation.

A large seating area has been created near the building with sloped access from the nearby family room, and wheelchair-friendly tables and benches purchased. The adjoining yin and yang garden of pebbles and grass provides a real focal point when viewed from the wards above. Planting has been chosen to add interest throught the year.

The old greenhouse has been retained and around it raised borders have been earmarked for easy planting of vegetables. Apple trees still blossom in the more informal area, which has been laid to lawn down a gentle slope and has a small seating

Opportunities for training and social enterprise were recognised during the project and a partnership launched between the trust and their local Employ-Ability group to maintain the garden.

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