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Saturday, 23 October 2021
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Charity receives the green light for hospital garden projects

THE Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity have received a £50,000 grant from NHS Charities Together to help fund staff gardens and a woodland walk at Rotherham Hospital.

South Yorkshire is famous for its links to the great outdoors, but for colleagues working long shifts at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, they aren’t as easily accessible. Thanks to NHS Charities Together’s hugely successful COVID-19 emergency appeal, funds are now available to boost accessibility to green spaces.

The charity will be investing the money in developing a brand new staff garden near the Moorgate wing at Rotherham Hospital.

In addition to the staff garden, the charity and the Trust will also fund a woodland walk for staff, patients and their families to enjoy. The half-kilometre trail will be located on the main hospital site, adjacent to the Oldfield Centre and the Maternity Services entrance.

Simon Loukes, Estates Project Officer at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We are delighted to announce that our £50,000 bid to NHS Charities Together was successful, and we can’t wait to get started on providing some amazing green spaces.

“As our hospital is out of town and away from other local amenities and green spaces, staff working on the site, particularly for those who also live in staff accommodation, can feel isolated.

“We do have a handful of picnic benches around the hospital grounds, but there are no outdoor communal spaces for staff and patients to enjoy. However, we’re very lucky that Rotherham Hospital is surrounded by pockets of green spaces and woodland areas which just need nurturing to bring them to life and make them accessible.

“This grant will allow the charity to provide outdoor spaces for staff and patients to relax, take breaks away from their busy ward areas or offices, to exercise and recharge their batteries. We hope staff living on-site will enjoy the garden in their downtime.

“The woodland walk will be available to patients and staff, and we hope it becomes a quiet place of refuge, relaxation and reflection, particularly for patients who are anxious about their appointments or who are visiting loved ones.”

Last year, the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity asked NHS colleagues what they would like funds raised as part of the Rotherham NHS Superheroes Campaign and nationally from NHS Charities Together to be invested in. A designated staff garden was a popular response.

The Trust’s will be working with professional contractors to carry out the work later soon.

The charity hopes volunteers will get involved in the upkeep of the garden and woodland walk in future, providing meaningful recreational activities for them to enjoy.

The charity is also working with the Trust to ensure the garden and the woodland trail are accessible for people with disabilities.

Suzanne Rutter, Charity Engagement and Development Manager, said:

“Thanks to NHS Charities Together and everyone who supported their successful COVID-19 fundraising appeal, we can now start to turn our plans into reality. We hope the green spaces we create will really be enjoyed for generations to come.”

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