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Trust wins Government money for dedicated therapy garden

 

An underused courtyard at the RD&E, near the specialist dementia wards, will be transformed in to a dedicated therapy garden.

 

The project is part of the Trust’s aim to provide the best care and facilities for its frail and elderly patients.

 

The garden will provide opportunity for supervised walking, informal meeting, simple gardening activity and theatre performance.

 

This is one of the 116 projects funded by Dementia Friendly Environments National Pilot programme launched by Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, last October. The Trust faced stiff competition in the first and second rounds of the process from local authority, NHS Trusts and private providers to secure more than £140,000.

 

Head of Exeter Healthcare Arts, Stephen Pettet-Smith, who led the bid, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to combine culture and the arts, including the art of gardening, to benefit our patients in a direct and unique project.

 

“The garden will provide opportunity for supervised walking, informal meeting, simple gardening activity and theatre performance. The journey from ward to garden will be enhanced by images of active and positive ageing, key and stimulating images from the last 60 years and historic Devon life, forming an interior therapeutic walk, with wall displays and floor graphics - from the ward and the main hospital corridors to the courtyard.

 

“This will provide indoor visual prompts of nature, social history and familiar landmarks. This will also promote dementia care and link with wider health and social care provision using innovative graphics and up to date contact details along with dispensers for leaflets giving other linked care provider’s information.”

 

Access to nature has positive benefits for all. The garden will provide memory prompts and meaningful distraction from ward life. Toby Buckland, nationally celebrated gardener and garden designer, will work with staff, patients and family members to design and plan the facility in detail.

 

Design coordination will be led by Stephen Pettet-Smith. Stephen has a long interest and engagement in the development of landscape and urban environments, having coordinated public arts and environment for the 5th British Garden Festival.

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