Teddington Memorial Hospital fundraises for wellbeing garden

A charity is fundraising for a wellbeing garden in Teddington Memorial Hospital to improve staff and patient welfare.

The Friends of Teddington Memorial Hospital (TMH) aims to provide a vibrant outdoor space which alleviates stress, reduces anxiety, and creates a sense of normality for patients.

Volunteers have been working closely with ‘Pledge a Plant’, to raise funding for plants, wooden furniture, and garden ornaments.

Christine Southern, Communications Manager of the charity, explained the importance of building ‘A Wellbeing Haven’.

She said: “It’s nice for patients to get outdoors and escape the stress and confinement of being in hospital all day.

“For outpatients and visitors, going to appointments can cause anxiety and, in the garden, they can get a breather before returning to their lives.

“So really, it’s for improving mental health.”

The space will not only benefit patients of the hospital and accelerate their recovery but will help staff members too.

Recent research shows that the NHS loses 348,028 working days a month due to staff anxiety, stress, and depression.

The Friends of TMH insist that a lively garden will reduce this number, allowing hospital employees to take breaks in non-clinical surroundings.

They believe that access to a natural environment will offer a range of mental and physical health benefits and improve overall mood.

Donations from the fundraiser will go towards compost bags, hanging baskets, hyacinths, patio slabs and planters to bring the space to life.

Both the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and The Lensbury Resort have sent out volunteers to kick-start the garden’s revamp.

Research from The Mental Health Foundation explains how important nature and outdoor surroundings are to mental health particularly in workspaces.

The evidence shows that nature can generate many positive emotions, such as calmness, joy, and relaxation.

A greenspace in hospitals will allow a confined patient or staff member to feel these emotions enhancing their overall wellbeing.

*Images provided by Christine Southern*

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