Warm wel­come for gar­den of de­lights at Ud­ston Hos­pi­tal

Hamilton Advertiser - - NEIGHBOURHOOD NEWS - Kirsten Mcs­tay

I found it helped my men­tal health as it got me used to be­ing part of a group of peo­ple who had sim­i­lar in­ter­ests An­drew Lo­gan

Staff, pa­tients and visi­tors gath­ered to see the of­fi­cial open­ing of a new gar­den area in the Bran­don and Clyde wards at Ud­ston Hos­pi­tal.

The project, in­volv­ing pa­tients from NHS La­nark­shire’s Beck­ford Lodge – which treats those with com­plex men­tal health is­sues – and Cly­des­dale Com­mu­nity Ini­tia­tive (CCI), is cred­ited with de­liv­er­ing vo­ca­tional train­ing as well as bring­ing sta­bil­ity, struc­ture and rou­tine to pa­tients’ lives.

Fund­ing from the Royal Vol­un­tary Ser­vice (RVS) helped cre­ate a new sum­mer pavil­ion, new paths, raised planters and flower beds in va­cant ground be­tween the two wards.

An­drew Lo­gan, a pa­tient from Beck­ford Lodge, said: “I started the project with oc­cu­pa­tional ther­apy as­sis­tant prac­ti­tioner Ge­orge Simp­son and the oc­cu­pa­tional ther­apy team, along­side the Cly­des­dale Com­mu­nity Ini­tia­tive (CCI) in April, ini­tially fo­cus­ing on the raised flower beds, then lay­ing the path­ways.

“I found it helped my men­tal health as it got me used to be­ing part of a group of peo­ple who had sim­i­lar in­ter­ests and it gave me a sense of achieve­ment when I saw the fin­ished gar­den.

“I’ve also been help­ing at other projects which gets me into the rou­tine of work­ing.”

Mau­reen Black, ad­vanced spe­cial­ist oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pist with the foren­sic com­mu­nity men­tal health team, said: “It’s al­ways a plea­sure to be able to give lots of peo­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties through one project and to see pa­tients gain­ing prac­ti­cal skills that can be trans­ferred into the work­place.

“The vo­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence gained by our pa­tients is in­valu­able.

“The new gar­den is so ap­pre­ci­ated by the pa­tients, visi­tors and staff us­ing this fa­cil­ity as it gives them the op­por­tu­nity to spend time in an en­vi­ron­ment they can take plea­sure from.”

A com­mem­o­ra­tive plaque was of­fi­cially un­veiled by Jennifer Russell, ser­vice man­ager for old age psy­chi­a­try, men­tal health and learn­ing dis­abil­ity ser­vices, and Frances Nai­smith, vol­un­teer with the RVS.

New gar­den An­drew Lo­gan (left) and other Beck­ford Lodge pa­tients with mem­ber of staff Mau­reen Black

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