Patients, visitors and staff at Harefield Hospital in West London will benefit from a £74,380 grant secured today (Friday 26 June) to create ‘healing and peace’ gardens at the hospital to enable them to relax and find moments of peace in times of stress and anxiety. Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, the largest specialist heart and lung centre in the UK, was successful in its application to the HS2 Community and Environment Fund (CEF).
The Harefield Healing & Peace Gardens Project will create new areas for flora, fauna and wildlife to thrive within accessible hospital grounds, and will provide positive benefits for the physical and mental wellbeing of patients. There will be the ‘Sun Therapy’ area created near to the Intensive Care Unit where patients can be taken out in their beds or chairs for a short period, as well as a ‘Nature’s Inspiration’ area which patients can see from their bed in the ward. There will also be a ‘Healing Garden’ at the front of the hospital that patients who can travel further can enjoy with their friends and families who visit. The gardens will be used to engage hospital beneficiaries in gardening activities and support them to participate in gardening activities to maintain the space.
The funding has come from the HS2 CEF, one of two funds, with a combined total of £40million, that are available to local communities and businesses that are demonstrably disrupted by the construction of HS2 between London and the West Midlands. To date over £7million has been distributed from the Community and Environment Fund, and the Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF), with 118 projects in total benefitting.
Twelve projects in London have received support since the funding programme opened for applications in March 2017. Other community groups that have benefitted include Thames 21 who received £66,047 for a project to enhance the River Pinn. The charity is using the funding to rebuild the relationship between communities and their rivers, restoring river health, improving biodiversity, and boosting wellbeing and community cohesion in the process.
Cathy Elliott, Independent Chair of the HS2 Community and Business Funds said:
“The HS2 Funds are increasingly having a positive impact in London as well as across the HS2 route. It is great to see another project benefit, especially this one which will have a lasting legacy supporting the well-being of patients, families and staff at Harefield Hospital. The Funds are available to support local communities and businesses that are impacted by the construction of HS2 and I encourage other organisations near to the line of route to apply and gain the tangible benefits of these Funds.”
Speaking about the benefit the project would have for patients and their families, Roy Atkinson, Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) patient at Harefield Hospital, said:
“After 51 days in ITU when my wife visited every day, we both agree that the Peace Gardens windows garden is a brilliant idea, and this can also be seen from the ITU visitors’ room window. The changes planned to the Sun Therapy area are also very good. At the moment there is nothing to look at other than grass and soil, so being able to see colour would enhance physical and mental wellbeing.”
As construction of HS2 gets underway, applications for the funds are still being welcomed. The Funds for Phase One, independently administered by community charity Groundwork UK, support urban and rural, community, environmental and business projects.
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