"Patients have told us that they love being outside - they often speak of the value it brings, increasing their mood, being able to chat to other patients and the joy of engaging in gardening tasks."
So says Megan Bahlmann, Occupational Therapist working with patients on Beech Ward in the Epping Forest Unit on the St. Margaret’s site.
In the Hospital grounds, there’s a therapy garden. Here, patients recovering from stroke and other neurological problems can plant and harvest, weed and water the range of summer vegetables they have grown. Peas, beans, lettuce, carrots, herbs and more.
The increased use of this garden activity as a therapy has been made possible by funding from The League of Friends. Recently, two raised planting and growing tables – ideal for wheelchair access – have been purchased, along with garden tools, soil and plants, as well as a garden potting table being repaired.
This was all made possible by the supporters of our charity, who have made donations or raised funds.
Megan has also told us that “from a therapists’ perspective, the garden has improved the way in which patients practice and improve their skills and movement.
“It has made a huge difference, as to sit-to-stand at a high bed in order to water or plant gets more involvement than sit-to-stand practice in a
Speech and language therapy is also enhanced through gardening, as patients talk about the plants – and even bring friends and family to the garden during visiting hours.
Megan repeats: “Patients love being outside. They love working with plants. They love chatting together as they work, and become totally
engaged in their therapy garden.”