£45,000 grant for sensory garden at Dorset County Hospital

A GRANT of more than £45,000 will see a sensory courtyard garden created at Dorset County Hospital (DCH).

The hospital, in Dorchester, has been handed a total of £45,204 from the Greener Communities Fund after an application by the sustainability team.

It will see a disused courtyard opposite Special Care Dentistry transformed into a sensory courtyard garden for patients, staff and visitors.

Bev Lagden, sustainability manager at DCH, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding. It will allow us to transform a neglected courtyard into a beautiful tranquil space, so that people can take a break and spend some time in a peaceful garden that stimulates their senses.”

The trust will now work with local organisations Kingston Maurward College, Dorchester Men’s Shed and Little Green Change on the planting plan for the garden, which will also include new doors, while the ground will be made level for disabled access.

Jo Howarth, director of nursing at DCH, said: “Whether you’re a patient, staff member or visiting a loved one, it’s important to be able to step away from the busy, and sometimes overwhelming, hospital environment and take a moment.

“We also know that nature can have a positive impact has on people’s physical and mental health and aid recovery, so we’re looking forward to creating this new space.”

Teddy Reynolds, a horticulture student at Kingston Maurward College and part of the project team, added: “It gives me the unique opportunity to be part of a professional design project.

“I am getting an insight into how a project is run and all the processes that are involved to develop and execute a complete garden design. It enables me to give something back to the local community.”

The garden is due to open later this year.

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