Plymouth Hospitals Charity funds hospital garden transformation

Judith Bywater poses in garden

Judith Bywater

Plymouth Hospitals Charity has awarded £500 to help transform a small garden space at Rowan House. Healthcare Assistant, Judith Bywater has been busy brightening up a grey, concrete courtyard and is transforming it into a mini haven for staff and patients.

When the Pain Clinic and Dermatology moved over to Rowan House three years ago, the teams got together over a weekend to weed and dig over the small garden space. The space consists of a courtyard with a horseshoe shaped, concrete planter. Some flowers and vegetables were planted but as time went by, the area started to get neglected and the weeds returned.

“After looking at the weeds for quite a while, myself and my colleague Lorraine started weeding it,” said Judith.  “We found a few plants that had survived and combined these with what I bought myself and plants from my own garden I started to try and make something of it.

“Now with being granted some money I can try and really make it an area for staff and patients to enjoy.”

Since Judith has been tending to the garden, staff and patients have been commenting on how nice it’s looking and she recently received a ‘thank you’ card from colleagues for her hard work. Judith now wants to finish the garden and has even been coming in on her days off to paint the planter which is now a lovely bright white.

Judith contacted Plymouth Hospitals Charity to find out if they were able to fund a few extra plants and some bags of bark chippings to help keep weeds at bay. Judith was awarded a grant of £500 which she plans to use to turn the area into a space that staff and patients can enjoy.

“I thought I might ask for a small amount of money for a few new plants. When the charity committee told me they were awarding me £500 to improve the area I nearly fell off my chair. I’ll be thinking about how I spend the money very carefully, it would be nice to add a small tree and perhaps a bench so people can enjoy the space.”

Plymouth Hospitals Charity Development Manager, Corinne Bailey said: "Sometimes it's the small things that make a big difference and can have a real therapeutic value. Judith's modest idea will impact on a lot of people and the charity is really pleased to have been able to help. The hospital can look a little grey at times but by softening some of these edges, areas outside can become spaces where staff can take a break in surroundings that are tended and cared for.

We would like to thank Judith for her initiative and commitment to making this mini garden and we can't wait to visit when it's done."

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