mark warner is our new artist in residence in horatio’s garden midlands!

Remarkably, three weeks have passed since Mark Warner became our latest artist in residence in Horatio’s Garden Midlands. During that time he’s not only unlocked many people’s creativity, he’s also painted some truly incredible pieces of his own.

In his first week, Mark was joined by a small group of patients, whilst others stopped by with their visiting loved ones to chat with the gathered artists and see what they were up to. 

Everyone, both those painting and those simply engaging really loved the afternoon, with two people sharing some lovely comments with Mark. Whilst one told him “It’s been such a long time since I’ve done this, I’ve really enjoyed it” another had been pleasantly surprised by their abilities, remarking “I didn’t think I’d be able to do this.” 

Feeling like he had already made a difference, Mark set his sights on preparing for week two. He planned to set up and work on a piece of his own upon his return to the garden, something he hoped would inspire people to an even greater degree as they came along to the workshop. 

As promised, Mark came back to the garden with a canvas in hand and began to create his own painting. A similar sized group joined him in the garden and both they and Mark were pleased to see each other, catching up on all that had happened in the past week and sharing what they intended to work on for the afternoon. 

Mark’s work attracted a lot of interest, with the people painting paying close attention to his progress, whilst plenty of visiting others came to see what Mark was creating. One person who popped to the garden was delighted to discover she could paint too, commenting “I didn’t realise I’d be able to have a go!” 

Everyone was united in their admiration for Mark’s painting, a feeling we most certainly share! 

With word spreading about how enjoyable the artistic afternoons are, more people attended the latest creative session, with one person wonderfully painting with Mark for two and a half hours. 

The workshop was a tale of two halves in many ways. Whilst one person hadn’t drawn since school, with the session taking her back to the days of her youth, another attended with her own sketchbook and was soon sharing her artistic work, poetry and stories with all those in the group. Both comments prompted conversation, with everyone enjoying reminiscing about their school days and equally appreciating hearing more about their fellow patient’s creative pursuits. 

A lady came along in her hospital bed to the garden room to paint too, which was fantastic and prompted Mark to suggest a great creative activity that everyone could try at home too. He suggested that as he painted her, she should paint him. The idea prompted some laughs, but once both were in the artistic flow the two had a really fascinating conversation about art, its techniques and its processes. 

We’re enormously grateful to Mark for joining us in Horatio’s Garden Midlands and are really pleased to hear that he, as well as those spending time in the haven, are making the most of the residency. It’ll be a pleasure to see and hear more about Mark’s next three weeks in the garden! 

autumnal artistry in horatio’s garden south west with katy mcintyre brown

One of the many wonderful things about our artists in residence is that they not only give everyone spending time in the garden the opportunity to embrace their creativity, but also give all of us the chance to discover some truly fantastic artists.

   

One person currently painting with Horatio’s Garden South West artist in residence, Katy McIntyre Brown, designer of our Meadow Flower Tea Towel and Honeysuckle & Tulip Laptray, is among the talented group of creatives we’ve had the privilege of coming across. 

He’s been regularly attending with a friend and fellow patient, with Katy sharing that it’s been great to work with them both.

 

This week, the secret artist continued to be enormously enthusiastic about being able to join Katy and added another piece to his collection of beautiful work.

 

He and Katy chatted as they painted, with him sharing that he’s come to see his spinal injury as something that’s opening new doors. He mentioned how much he appreciates all the people he’s met whilst spending time in Horatio’s Garden, knowing he wouldn’t necessarily have encountered them otherwise. He also kindly told her that he’s loved being able to once again take up painting, something he wouldn’t have done if he hadn’t come to our South West sanctuary. 

Katy was naturally inspired by his perspective, as are we. 

An amazing man and an equally brilliant artist, he was passionate along with the rest of the gathered group about continuing to focus their pieces around an autumn theme. Katy has collected apples, squashes and dried seed heads in preparation for their upcoming sessions, all of which make good creative subjects, whilst they also prompt intriguing conversation. 

The artists have also discovered it’s both fun and interesting to use the subjects as artistic materials too, with everyone enjoying exploring the effects they create on paper. 

We’ve loved lots of Katy’s stories throughout her residency and are looking forward to hearing many more like this over the next few weeks! 

joe swift wins society of garden designers award for horatio’s garden stoke mandeville!

Back in July it was revealed that Joe Swift, beloved presenter of BBC Gardeners’ World and multiple RHS Chelsea Gold Medal Winner, was a finalist in the Society of Garden Designers 2021 Awards. 

After months of anticipation, the winners were finally revealed on Friday 15th October at The Landmark Hotel in London and Joe was deservedly among them, winning the Healing, Learning or Community Landscapes & Gardens award for his stunning design of Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville! 

The judges said that the garden, which is located at the National Spinal Injuries Centre (NSIC) in Stoke Mandeville Hospital, is an absolutely phenomenal space demonstrating exceptional quality of design and execution.” 

Everyone was naturally thrilled for Joe, with countless attendees stopping to congratulate him on his exceptional creation throughout the evening. Many also took the time to speak with Head Gardeners’ Leader and former Head Gardener of Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville, Jacqui Martin-Löf, current Head Gardener of the horticultural haven, Amy Moffett, as well as the charity’s Founder & Chair of Trustees, Dr Olivia Chapple, and trustee David Chapple FRCS. Echoing Joe’s words on Instagram, all those attending agreed that the award was a testament to the whole team’s skill and dedication, including the incredible volunteer team who care for the garden as if it were their own.

 

Being one of the most important evenings in the garden design calendar, Arit Anderson and Ann Marie-Powell both appeared at the event, each of them congratulating Joe on his achievement and both sharing their appreciation for all that we do to bring the beauty and benefits of nature to people across the UK.

 

Fellow Horatio’s Garden designers Cleve West and Andy Sturgeon were also there to celebrate, each of them pleased to be a part of the occasion and evidently delighted for both Joe and the charity. 

In addition to being one of the evening’s winners, we were also honoured to be chosen as the SGD Awards’ charity partner. Being amongst so many supportive friends of Horatio’s Garden was a real privilege and we are so grateful to everyone who generously donated as part of the evening’s proceedings. 

With the Society of Garden Designers being the only professional association for garden designers and representing the very best of the industry both nationally and internationally, it was a real pleasure to not only be recognised by the organisation, but to be part of an event acknowledging so many incredible gardens, landscapes and, most importantly, their designers. 

To read more about all the winners, please click here to read the Homes & Gardens magazine SGD Awards feature

Congratulations to each and every winner and thank you to The Society of Garden Designers for hosting a truly brilliant, fun and insightful evening. 

chloe’s story

“When I was in Stanmore last year the garden was still being completed, so it has been really lovely to see the finished product and be able to enjoy it.” 

Chloe is 30 years old. 

A teacher at a brilliant school called Jigsaw, which specialises in education for children with an autism spectrum disorder, Chloe was happily living her life in West Sussex. She loved her job, seeing it as a privilege to not only be able to teach academic subjects, but also to watch as the children she knew so well gained confidence in their communication and daily living skills.

 

In between teaching primarily sixth form students, supporting their families and enjoying the company of her fantastic colleagues, Chloe was drawing ever closer to completing her PhD in English Literature. 

And then she slipped a disc. 

With the soft cushion of tissue between the bones of her spine pushed out of place, pressure on the nerves of her spinal cord began to mount. 

It was this that caused Chloe to suffer Cauda Equina Syndrome, a rare but serious condition which severely compresses all the nerves at the base of the spinal cord, cutting off sensation and movement in the lower body. 

Arriving at the London Spinal Cord Injury Centre (LSCIC), located in the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, Chloe was over two hours away from home and faced an uncertain future. 

With Horatio’s Garden London & South East under construction, Chloe was unable to spend time in the sanctuary during her initial stay. 

As someone who loves being outdoors, Chloe missed being able to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the natural world. 

Nevertheless, she found comfort in the form of the centre’s NHS staff.

“I am so grateful to everyone who helped me at the spinal centre for their care and kindness. The nurses and doctors have been amazing in answering questions and helping my understanding.” 

“I have also been so incredibly lucky with the fantastic physiotherapy I’ve received, both in terms of the support I’ve had in the centre, as well as in terms of all the knowledge they’ve given me to help me best continue with my rehabilitation at home.” 

With rehabilitation going well, Chloe returned to the LSCIC this October for a planned two-week inpatient rehabilitation stay. 

And this time, Horatio’s Garden London & South East was waiting to welcome her. 

“I really appreciated having such a beautiful space to unwind in and enjoy some autumnal sunshine! The fact that the design of the garden allows everyone to access it directly from their bay is great – it felt good to have that freedom to just pop outside easily.”

  

“The garden made a big difference when it came to my friends and family visiting too. It was nice to be able to sit outside in a relaxed environment and chat with a cup of tea!” 

Having experienced life in the spinal centre without Horatio’s Garden, Chloe was keen to make up for lost time. 

“I was lucky enough to do some craft sessions with Tracey, which involved everything from card printing to sewing a cushion cover. I really loved learning how to use a sewing machine (Tracey was a very patient teacher!) in one of the beautiful garden pods. It was just nice to do something creative.” 

The time Chloe spent with Garden Administrator Tracey will most certainly remain amongst her most treasured memories, whilst she also plans to hold onto her newfound horticultural knowledge. 

“The garden gave me a lot of inspiration for things to try at home and the Head Gardener, Ashley, gave me some great tips for looking after my houseplants!” 

“Just being able to chill outside and watch the birds having fun in the water features has been great. It’s simple, but it’s something I’ll always remember.”

  

Akin to her students, Chloe’s courage has continually grown, whilst her intrinsic kindness, intelligence and determination never faltered. 

“I am going to continue with physiotherapy, alongside doing some swimming and I might try some water sports again.” 

“I’m also really looking forward to (finally!) finishing my PhD and starting a career.” 

With her plans falling into place, Chloe’s next chapter is set to be filled with all the good things she’s worked for and deserves. 

The future looks bright.  

Rather like the sun she so admired shimmering in the autumn sky. 

john’s poem

Some of you will remember that not so long ago we were lucky enough to welcome Creative Writer Jayne Woodhouse for a residency in Horatio’s Garden South West.

Over the weeks she spent in the garden, she got to know those spending time in the sanctuary well, inspiring many to give creative writing a go.

Two people, John and Simon, we’re particularly engaged in the workshops, attending each week whilst they also worked on pieces in their own time too.

Now, John has generously decided to share one of the poems he crafted with you.

The first line is a phrase John simply said whilst Jayne was in the garden. She was struck by the pure expressive quality of the words, together with the strong rhythm, which prompted the sentence John said to stay in her head.

She found herself beginning to build ideas around them, bringing them back to Horatio’s Garden South West where together Jayne and John created the piece you’ll see below.

We hope you enjoy reading it.


Horatio’s Garden
 

A Poem by John & Jayne
 
There’s nothing dark in the garden, 
No matter what’s in my head, 
The sights and sounds that greet me here 
Bring light and joy instead. 

The flowers are bright with colour, 
Alive with the buzzing of bees, 
The gold, the blue and the violet, 
Reflecting the light through the trees. 

The dappled shade of the archway 
Protects from the fierce midday heat, 
The rippling stream calms me, 
As I rest by the old wooden seat.

Whenever I feel downhearted, 
And my mood is dark and low, 
That special place in the garden 
Will heal my soul, I know. 

our young supporters raise £40,000 partying at the prince!

After multiple postponements, last night our young supporters finally got to party at The Prince and it was most definitely worth the wait, with a phenomenal total of £40,000 successfully raised for the charity! 

Originally scheduled to take place in March 2020, our young committee have been organising the occasion for almost two years, patiently waiting for the moment when the next generation would able to safely come together to support Horatio’s Garden.  

Fortunately, they didn’t have to wait any longer and over 400 people joined us for what was a brilliant evening at one of London’s premier venues. 

Consisting of one street, three bars, four restaurants and a covered woodland garden, all of which connect together to create one perfect epicurean avenue, The Prince was the perfect place to celebrate the charity’s work and raise awareness of what we do amongst supporters old and new.

 

The Prince were incredible generous in their support of the event, with all ticket holders enjoying an open bar, along with plenty of delicious food by their talented independent traders. Everyone relished the irresistible treats on offer and with the atmosphere buzzing, it was simply wonderful to once again see people coming together and having fun in each other’s company. 

The committee also successfully curated an incredible raffle, with 20 fabulous prizes that prompted almost everyone to buy a ticket in the hope of winning anything from a Champagne Brunch for four at The Ned, to a Peachy Den voucher, to a Horatio’s Garden gold quote pendant, designed exclusively for the charity by Cassandra Goad.

Whilst it would have been easy to get lost in the joy of once again being able to embrace a night out, everyone who joined us was totally engaged with the charity, with this energy especially tangible during the event’s speeches. 

As both Horatio Chapple’s brother, Titus, and former patient and charity ambassador, Jack Mannings, spoke to the gathered guests, a hush fell over the room, with everyone listening intently to all they had to say.  

Whilst Titus explained a little more about the charity and its plans for the future, Jack generously shared his story and told the audience how Horatio’s Garden South West supported his rehabilitation. In his words, “it wouldn’t be too much to say that, for me, Horatio’s Garden was the difference between life and death.”

Everyone was evidently moved by the two’s words, whilst our touching fundraising film also gave people an insight into just how much the charity changes people’s lives. Indeed, following these few minutes, a number of the under 30s who came along for the evening generously became Friends of the charity, signing up to give a regular donation to help us continue creating and nurturing our gardens across the UK. 

Moreover, our exceptional sponsors, Decanter, were so stirred too that in the moment they doubled their sponsorship of £10,000 to £20,000! We, along with everyone else in the room, were totally taken aback and in complete awe of their astonishing kindness.

 

The astounding £40,000 fundraising total is a true testament to the generosity of all those who attended, but also stands to represent the magnificent work of our extraordinary young committee members.

It was a real pleasure to be a part of such an epic evening and we are so grateful to everyone who joined us, to all our young ambassadors, to everyone on the young committee and to all the endlessly helpful staff at The Prince. 

We would also like to thank our fantastically generous sponsors, Incipio, Decanter, The Earls Court Development Company and CBC Partnership. 

Together, each and every one of you helped us to host a night to remember; one that will make a real difference to countless people’s lives. 

We look forward to seeing you at our next young supporters event very soon! 

*** 

About our Sponsors

With well-known venues such as The Prince, Pergola and Lost in Brixton, Incipio are on a mission to take unloved and unused spaces and turn them into unique, big and beautiful destinations. Restaurants, bars, city skylines, atmosphere, music, seating for all and general good times. 

Founded in 1975, Decanter is the oldest consumer wine publication in the UK and is now – quite simply – the world’s leading wine media brand. Today, Decanter reaches over 660,000 wine lovers every month from 99 countries around the globe. Decanter provides authoritative content, independent advice and inspirational events and competitions.

     

we’re looking for a head gardener for horatio’s garden south west, salisbury

We’re looking for someone knowledgeable, passionate and kind to join our team as Head Gardener of Horatio’s Garden South West, Salisbury.

***

Job Description

Horatio’s Garden, a national charity, creating and nurturing beautifully designed gardens in NHS’s spinal injury centres are seeking an enthusiastic, experienced head gardener for a high-profile role at Horatio’s Garden South-West in Salisbury designed by celebrated garden designer Cleve West.

The award-winning project is the charity’s flagship garden and has had widespread publicity for trail blazing the benefits of gardens and health. Cleve won three Society of Garden Designers awards for the garden and the landscaper won two BALI awards. The garden was voted the nation’s favourite regional garden the English Garden awards in 2019.

As head gardener will be responsible for leading the project and caring for the garden and the patients who use it. You will collaborate with the rehabilitation centre’s staff, to create a vibrant sanctuary which meets the needs of the charities beneficiaries.

You will join a lively, friendly knowledgeable team of five other dedicated head gardeners across the charity’s other gardens. The role is supported by a part-time Garden Administrator, along with a team of incredible volunteers, who in 2019 received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Together they nurture the beautiful space for patients, NHS staff and their visitors. 

You will be responsible for delivering a therapeutic gardening programme as well as arts activities for patients in the garden, supported by the charity’s Arts Co-ordinator. With the garden administrator you will also arrange social events for patients and their families in co-ordination with the rehabilitation centre’s team.

The role is a fantastic opportunity for a confident gardener with an interest in gardens and wellbeing and a passion for people as well as plants. We welcome informal enquiries.

The role is flexible for 4-5 days per week. Salary depending on experience approx. £30,000- £31,000 FTE.

 

Experience, Qualifications and Skills

Essential

• Practical experience as a gardener, including experience of garden management.
• Minimum of RHS Level 2 Diploma in Principles and Practices of Horticulture or equivalent.
• Management of and working with, volunteers.
• Empathic, kind and a great communicator.
• Experience of leading and managing teams.
• Confident public speaker.
• Able to manage budgets and petty cash.

 

Desirable

• Post Graduate Diploma in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture.
• Experience of therapeutic activities.
• Good IT skills, specifically proficient with Microsoft Office 365: Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint,
• Digital photography.
• Working in the voluntary sector.
• NHS experience or work in a health care setting.
• Supplier management and ordering.

 

Qualities

• Able to meet the physical demands of the job.
• Willingness to show commitment and flexibility in working practice.
• Self-motivated and capable of working with the minimum of direction but understanding the limits of your knowledge and able to seek advice when required.

 

APPLICATION

Please write a one page covering letter explaining why you would be suited to this role and a one page CV to jacqui@horatiosgarden.org.uk

Job Type: Permanent

We are an equal opportunity employer and welcome applications from all sectors of society.

NOTE: DBS, medical and reference checks will be conducted as part of the recruitment process.

Application Closing Date: Sunday 31st October

jack folkestone finishes the marathon des sables!


PLEASE CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Last week, Jack Folkestone achieved something beyond words. 

He completed the Marathon des Sables 2021, regarded worldwide as ‘the toughest footrace on earth’. 

Not only that, but he finished 32nd out of 753 competitors. He was the 6th British competitor to finish and 1st in his age group. 

Moreover, so far, including Gift Aid, he has raised £50,000 for Horatio’s Garden!

 

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO DONATE

The Marathon des Sables is an epic ultramarathon which involves running six marathons in five days and all in the blistering heat of The Sahara Desert. Two of the marathons are run in one day, meaning Jack traversed over 82 kilometres of impossible terrain in the space of 24 hours. In fact, he took just 15 hours to make it over the finish line. 

Jack was due to take on this incredible challenge back in April 2020, however due to Coronavirus the 35th edition of the event was postponed to April 2021. It was then postponed again to this October, meaning 22 year-old Jack has now been training for over two and a half years; constantly prepared, before being understandably let down at the last minute.

With the run put back to October, temperatures were consistently higher than usual, with every day of Jack’s extraordinary feat being completed in temperatures of over 50 degrees. 

Despite having never run a marathon before and all the adversity Jack’s faced, he was totally set on completing the challenge to raise vital funds for the charity. Throughout his thoughts have been with patients and their loved ones facing extraordinarily difficult times adjusting to spinal cord injuries, something which motivated him to continue with his training and in the race’s toughest moments.

 

He has also been totally dedicated to completing the challenge too after so many people generously donated and left countless supportive messages on his JustGiving page. Jack, his family and we have all been overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness and we are immensely grateful to all those who thoughtfully donated.

 

There is of course still time to donate too!

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO DONATE


Like us, many of you have been following Jack’s progress on his Instagram page, where a team back here in the UK have been posting daily updates about his monumental adventure.
 

However, for those of you wondering how his week went, here’s a little chronicle of what he got up to in the desert. 

 
Day 1 

Standing at 6ft 5” and emblazoned with his running number, 543, Jack was easy to spot amongst the pro runners throughout this year’s Marathon des Sables! 

He crossed the finish line on day one in 52nd place, 1st in his age group, starting the week by conserving his energy as much as possible for the mammoth task still ahead of him. 

Having completed his first marathon, he was in good spirits and was pleased with his result. 

We’ve since learned that his shoelaces also snapped during this first leg, meaning he continued on with shoes full of sand. As he put it in one of his emails to home, “nowhere to buy spare laces in the desert, Mum!” 

 

 

Day 2 

Having finished in 52nd place the day before, Jack was going into his second marathon in a strong position. 

However, his family and all of us at home couldn’t quite believe it when he managed to claw his way up to coming 23rd on the second day of the race! This put Jack into 26th overall, leaving everyone feeling enormously proud of his efforts. 

In terms of fundraising, his total had also increased by £1,000 at this point, putting the grand amount raised at over £35,500!  

Nevertheless, there was still a little way to go until he reached his ambitious £40,000 target, something which spurred him on into day three… 

 

Day 3 

Jack continued to sit comfortably in the top 50, up there with the 150 pro runners taking part and maintaining his position despite there being over 700 athletes involved. 

After finishing so high in the rankings, he was going into stage four starting with the professionals; a major deal as day four is the most demanding, with competitors running two marathons in one day, equivalent to 82.5 kilometers. 

Day three was also a really difficult one, but thanks to everyone’s enormously kind messages and thoughtful donations, Jack remained positive, sending the following email to those closest to him: 

‘Thank you so much for the email updates. They help me so much, you would not believe. It is my only contact with the outside world! With it normally meant to be in April, no one expected it to be this hot! Every day has been over 50 degrees! It is sweltering but I am feeling good. Not quite sure where I am coming but I am keeping up with some of the pros! Think I might even be in the top 50, how cool is that, seeing as there are like 150 pro runners! Love the fundraising updates, they are keeping me motivated and push me every day! Sending my love to you and everyone at home. I am safe and not ill at all by the way, so no need to panic! I will make it back in one piece. 82.5km tomorrow! Gonna be a big one and I am going to smash it! Keep the fundraising people updated as I am sure you will and let them know I am going to smash this race! Top 50 here we come!’ 

 

Day 4 

Double marathon day. 

With three marathons already under his belt, Jack was ready to face his biggest challenge yet. 

Setting off at 11am BST in scorching temperatures of over 50 degrees, Jack was remarkably still running at 21:45pm BST. Nearly 11 hours into the 82.5km journey, he continued to make good ground and was keeping pace with the pro leaders of the stage. 

He ran through the night, crossing the finish line of his second marathon of the day in just over 15 hours. Phenomenally, he was still holding onto his top 50 place, one that was most certainly more than deserved. 

In recognition of his astounding achievement, the donations continued to flood in, with the hope being that Jack would successfully reach his £40,000 fundraising target either before or after the final stage of the race. 

 

Day 5 

After running through the night, day five is designated as a rest day, with all the runners taking time to recover ahead of the final marathon on day six. 

It was confirmed that Jack was coming 36th in the race after his staggering performance in stage 4, meaning he was once again starting with the pros going into the final phase of the event. 

He sent a funny email home telling everyone that the pro runners looked very bemused every time Jack asked them what charity they were representing! It seems no one was expecting a fundraising newcomer to be on the professional start line, but they were most certainly pleased to have him there and Jack made many new friends from across the globe throughout the week. 

By the end of the day, Jack was within touching distance of his target, with his JustGiving total rapidly rising to £39,545. 

 

Day 6 

The runner’s sixth and final marathon commenced at 9:30am BST and it was an incredible spectacle to see everyone making their way over the start line. 

Just a few hours later, Jack was crossing the Marathon des Sables 2021 finish line, placing 32nd overall, which was the unexpected icing on the cake and a testament to all his training and hard work over the past two and a half years! 

Amazingly, by the time he accomplished his inconceivable adventure, Jack not only looked totally fine, but he had also successfully reached and far surpassed his £40,000 fundraising target! By this point he’d raised over £43,600 and it continued to climb all over the weekend. 

 

Day 7 

Whilst the race was officially over, it’s Marathon des Sables tradition to get involved in an extra ‘fun’ charity race the day after completion, which is roughly 7 kilometres; just enough to finish off everyone’s legs! 

Jack naturally took part and as he was busy making his final meander through the dunes, countless others were busy leaving comments and donations as a show of support for his awe-inspiring performance.


 

***

Jack has earned his place as a true Marathon des Sables and Horatio’s Garden legend. 

We have been astonished by his commitment to the charity, by his extraordinary heart and determination to help people across the UK and by his continual kindness and appreciation of all those who of have generously donated. 

It’s one thing to complete the ‘toughest footrace on earth’, but it’s quite another to do it humbly and with unwavering good grace. 

Thank you, Jack.  

You have achieved something truly extraordinary and we all wish you huge congratulations!


Jack in the Press

If you would like to hear Jack and his mother, Lady Radnor, talk about his Marathon des Sables adventure on
BBC Radio Wiltshire, please click here.

You’ll find their interview approximately 1:53:04 into the programme.

If you would like to read more about Jack’s adventure on the LoveSalisbury website, please click here.

laura, alex and naomi complete the royal parks half marathon!

Yesterday marked the return of the Royal Parks Half Marathon and we were absolutely thrilled to hear that our three runners, Laura, Alex and Naomi all successfully completed the challenge! 

To donate to Laura & Alex’s JustGiving page, please click here 

To donate to Naomi’s JustGiving page, please click here 

With Laura, Alex and Naomi filling our charity places, it was wonderful to see three fabulous fundraisers getting involved in this year’s event. 

The Royal Parks Half Marathon is the first and only marathon of its kind, winding its way through four of eight of London’s Royal Parks; Hyde Park, Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens. 

Aptly, the message of this year’s race campaign was #RunGreen and was all about encouraging people to escape to and look after their local green spaces as much as possible; a sentiment we and our fundraisers certainly share.

With Naomi having worked at the National Spinal Injuries Centre (NSIC) for over seven years, where our Stoke Mandeville sanctuary opened in 2018, she has experienced both life with and without a Horatio’s Garden. This perspective has enabled her to truly appreciate the difference the garden has made. She has been lucky enough to enjoy the garden, has seen the positive impact the haven has on people with life-changing injuries, whilst the uplifting power of nature helps her and her NHS colleagues and friends too.

 

Meanwhile, Laura and Alex previously supported the charity by taking on the Virtual Vitality 10k last year (during Storm Aiden, no less!), something which encouraged them to tackle their latest double-the-distance challenge almost a year to the day. 

With Alex being the charity’s Communications Assistant, the charity is very close to her heart. With Laura knowing how much it means to Alex and hearing countless stories about people who have been helped by Horatio’s Garden, the dynamic fundraising duo were determined to finish the race, thinking all the while about the people they would be helping by crossing the finish line.

Alex & Laura Running  

Fantastically, including Gift Aid, Naomi has raised almost £700 for Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville so far and incredibly completed the course in just two hours! 

Brilliantly too, including Gift Aid, Laura and Alex have raised a combined total of over £1,400 for the charity so far, successfully finishing their half marathon in only two and half hours! 

There’s still time to donate too, so if you’d like to give, simply use one of the links below. 

To donate to Naomi’s JustGiving page, please click here 

To donate to Laura & Alex’s JustGiving page, please click here 

We’re delighted our competitors enjoyed making their way through some stunning natural spaces in the heart of London and are so grateful to everyone who’s supported them in surpassing their fundraising targets. 

Fingers crossed the trio are resting their weary legs today! 

sitting spiritually support horatio’s garden scotland

We are so grateful to Sitting Spiritually, who have generously donated one of their stunning, handcrafted Tranquillity Oak garden benches to our horticultural haven in Scotland.  

The bench is already beloved by everyone spending time in the garden, including volunteer Karen, who Head Gardener Sallie snapped sitting upon it as she took a well-deserved break after a busy morning in the garden.

 

Nestled near the sanctuary’s brand new garden room, which is due to open later this year, the bench is the perfect complement to the surrounding planting. The development has been a major mini-project, one which the garden’s original designer, James Alexander-Sinclair, has been closely involved with too. 

The two-seater bench is on long-term loan to the sanctuary and Horatio’s Garden has been exquisitely inscribed into the oak to give the gorgeous bench a personal touch. 

Placed in the freshly planted area of the garden, which was designed by James and is an extension of the Woodland Garden he first created when Horatio’s Garden Scotland opened in 2016, the bench already looks at home in its new location. 

Reflecting the vibrant and thriving pre-existing planting, the new flowerbeds are rich with elegant silver birch and plenty of bright and beautiful blooms. 

 

The seasoned-oak Tranquillity garden bench has begun its life radiating a warm golden colour that, over time, will weather into soft silver to blend perfectly into its natural surroundings. Patients and their loved ones will be able to sit here in peace, absorbing all the magic that nature has to offer. 

When asked about why Sitting Spiritually kindly decided to give us this wonderful gift, founder Martin Young shared, “Horatio’s Garden is a marvellous charity and it’s our great pleasure to be able to contribute to their inspirational efforts. We hope this unique bench provides a source of peace and solace to the patients at the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit in Glasgow.” 

It’s truly a pleasure to see everyone enjoying the Tranquillity bench already and we’re sure Sitting Spiritually will be part of many more people’s stories in the months and years to come.

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