Staff and service-users from Ward 12 in Lagan Valley Hospital have officially opened a rehabilitative and therapeutic garden designed to help improve the surroundings for service-users and their families.
The garden was created as a result of winning the Public Health Agency’s Dragon’s Den competition.
The garden, which is sited at the back of Ward 12, was the idea of service-users and patients and provides an area for them to take time out, spend time with their visitors and also a place where relatives can bring family pets.
The rehabilitative and therapeutic garden was developed in conjunction with Green Gym Conservation NI.
The Green Gym is a health initiative offering individuals an outdoor alternative to conventional gyms - the opportunity to increase their physical activity levels through direct involvement in practical conservation activities.
The Conservation Volunteers believe that local people must be involved in order for environmental improvements to be sustainable.
The Green Gym engages communities in identifying the problems and solutions.
Providing the appropriate support and training, the Green Gym equips people with knowledge, skills and confidence to achieve their vision of a better environment.
The area is maintained by both service-users, past patients and staff and contains flowers, shrubs, vegetables, fruit and herbs.
Brendan Whittle, Director of Adult Services, said: “I am delighted that staff and service users from Ward 12 were successful in winning the Dragon’s Den competition and appreciate all the work they have undertaken to make the garden an area that both they and their families can enjoy.
“This garden is a magnificent facility which can only have a positive effect on the health and wellbeing of all who use it.”
William Delaney, Charge Nurse in Ward 12, added: “I would like to thank the staff, service-users and Conservation Volunteers NI for all their hard work.
“The garden encapsulates a shared decision making process between staff and service users and it is the beginning of a journey towards recovery for individuals.”
Spending time outside in a garden has been shown to positively affect a person’s emotions and improve their sense of wellbeing.
A spokesperson said, “Relaxing in this peaceful environment can help further improve the magnificent care already provided in Ward 12.”