Sir Gareth Edwards visits the sixth Horatio’s Garden at the University Hospital Llandough, Cardiff.
Rugby legend, Sir Gareth Edwards, visited Horatio’s Garden Wales this weekend to celebrate the opening of the garden, which is the charity’s sixth project in the UK. The garden is the first of its kind in Wales and will offer a stunning sanctuary for people living with spinal injuries across the country.
Sir Gareth Edwards, who has supported the charity throughout the Welsh garden appeal, was delighted to be given a tour of the beautiful, fully accessible garden, which supports both patients with spinal injuries and their loved ones who face long stays in The Welsh Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Centre, based at the University Hospital Llandough.
On the opening of the garden, Sir Gareth Edwards said, “I am thrilled that Wales has a Horatio’s Garden. It will provide people with traumatic injuries a place to spend time in nature and provide a space away from the ward where they can enjoy time with the family and friends. Spinal cord injury can happen to anyone, as we know from our experiences in the world of rugby, and this beautiful garden can provide some relief for people going through a very difficult time.”
The garden was created following a capital appeal by Horatio’s Garden Charity which was generously supported by a range of donors including Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and its official charity, Cardiff & Vale Health Charity who provided the land, a significant contribution towards development of the site and support and expertise of the staff in helping to develop such a fantastic outdoor space.
Fiona Jenkins, Executive Director of Therapies and Health Science, at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said: “We are delighted to have been able to support Horatio’s Garden Wales. The garden aligns with our broader vision for promoting health, wellbeing and recovery through connection to outdoor environments. The garden is a great benefit for patients and staff and will make a huge impact for years to come. Thank you to everybody who has been involved in the project.”
The garden is open for patients, their visitors and NHS staff to use throughout the year. As well as enjoying the beautiful space, the charity provides a range of therapeutic and social activities including an extensive arts programme which patients can join in.
Dr Shanbhag, Consultant in Rehabilitation medicine (Spinal cord injury), said, “We have noticed the positive effect of the garden in cheering up the patients. It is a safe and tranquil space for patients to enjoy after working hard in therapies for their rehabilitation. The staff have also benefited from the views of the garden as a stark contrast to the clinical settings. ”
Patients, donors and staff from the hospital enjoyed spending time in the garden during the opening event, and were delighted to meet the rugby legends Sir Gareth Edwards and Brynmor Williams, who both spent time with patients to hear their stories and spoke with Founder & Chair of Trustees, Dr Olivia Chapple, the garden’s award-winning designer, Sarah Price, Head Gardener Owen Griffiths and many of the volunteers who tend the garden.
Dr Olivia Chapple, Founder of Horatio’s Garden, said, “I am incredibly proud of everyone involved with this project. So many people have worked with selfless commitment to ensure Horatio’s Garden Wales flourishes and to ensure that the garden is there to support those who are facing life-changing injuries. Together we have thrived.”
Lowrie Nicholls a patient in the spinal centre said, “It is a sociable environment and an opportunity to meet up with others. It feels like a sanctuary, and I can clear my mind.”
Horatio’s Garden have recently announced their seventh project which will be created at Musgrave Hospital, Belfast. The charity aims to provide a garden in all 11 UK spinal injury centres so that everyone living with spinal injury has access to one of these life changing places.
If you would like to find out more about Horatio’s Garden, please visit www.horatiosgarden.org.uk.