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Colourful garden planned for stroke patients at Grantham Hospital

Two businesswomen have set up a charity to help build a garden for patients at Grantham Hospital.

Nikki Applewhite and Emmy Shelton, of Applewhite Garden Design, aim to create the garden outside Ward 6 which caters for stroke patients undergoing rehabilitation, and respiratory patients.

The idea for the garden came originally from an appeal by the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust which asked for people to ‘adopt a garden’.

Plan for a garden outside ward 6 at Grantham Hospital. (6563606)
Plan for a garden outside ward 6 at Grantham Hospital. (6563606)

Nikki said: “We decided to set up a charity - GROW (Gardens Restore Our Wellbeing) - and would like to roll it out across all Lincolnshire hospitals.

“At GROW we’re raising funds to promote wellbeing and improve mental health by providing opportunities for hospital patients to socialise, exercise and rehabilitate in natural surroundings.”

On the GROW website physicians are quoted as saying: “There is increasing evidence that exposure to plants and green space, and particularly to gardening, is beneficial to mental and physical health, and so could reduce the pressure on NHS services. Health professionals should therefore encourage their patients to make use of green space and to work in gardens, and should pressure local authorities to increase open spaces and the number of trees, thus also helping to counteract air pollution and climate change.”

Nikki and Emmy saw first hand the health benefits of volunteering when they worked at Belvoir Castle.

GROW will fund the garden and manage a volunteer scheme to maintain its future. Nikki says the Grantham Hospital garden should cost between £13,000 and £14,000 to create.

Nikki and Emmy will be asking local businesses to help fund it and are also raising funds from individuals and other sources to be able to go ahead with their first hospital garden. For more details on the project and to make a donation go to www.growcharity.co.uk

You can see a video of the plans in 3D on YouTube.

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