SIR GARETH EDWARDS OFFICIALLY OPENS HORATIO’S GARDEN WALES

Sir Gareth Edwards celebrates the opening of Horatio’s Garden Wales 

 

On Saturday 2nd July, we were delighted to welcome Sir Gareth Edwards to officially open our sixth stunning sanctuary in The Welsh Spinal Cord Injury and Neuro Rehabilitation Centre at University Hospital Llandough in Cardiff.

To watch Issa Farfour’s report for ITV Wales, please click ‘Play’ below

Rugby legend, Sir Gareth Edwards, visited Horatio’s Garden Wales  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.” 

Designed by two-time RHS Chelsea Gold Medal winner, Sarah Price, our new garden has been carefully designed to support people from right across Wales as they physically and mentally adjust to, or care for someone with, a life-changing injury.

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.”  

 

We are enormously grateful to everyone who has helped bring Horatio’s Garden Wales to life, including (but by no means limited to) Sarah Price Landscapes, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cardiff & Vale Health Charity, The National Garden Scheme, 6a architects, Knox & Wells, Mark Whyman Landscapes, Griffin Glasshouses, Malvern Garden Buildings, New Wood Trees, Head Gardener Owen Griffiths, all our brilliant volunteers, as well as every single person and organisation who has generously supported the project.

We hope you’re as excited as we are to watch the next chapter of Horatio’s Garden Wales unfold!

A LOVELY DAY AT LLANOVER GARDEN

The sun was shining as over 300 people spent the day with us at the lovely Llanover Garden, with owners Ross & Elizabeth Murray generously opening the gorgeous, listed garden’s gates in support of Horatio’s Garden Wales on Saturday 25th July.

 

As one of the South Wales countryside’s best kept secrets, people were delighted to be able to make the most of the breath-taking landscape, with the 18-acre garden framed by the dramatic, beautiful Black Mountains.  

Throughout the afternoon, guests shared how stunning they had found the garden to be, whilst they also relished the delicious cream teas that were available throughout the afternoon. Taken together, the two were the perfect summer treat!

Having been purchased by Benjamin Waddinton, the direct ancestor of the current owners, in 1792, the gardens have been continually developed by six generations of the same family. Beginning with the creation of a series of ponds, cascades and rills, Benjamin created the backbone of the garden. 

Since then, the garden has become home to herbaceous borders, a water garden, champion trees and three areas devoted to wildflowers, with the entrance drive boasting over 18 key indicator species, meaning it’s regarded as an excellent example of species-rich grassland.

 

With guests meandering the afternoon away, countless people commented on how thrilled they were to discover some sort of horticultural delight around every corner. Among the most talked about features of the gardens were the intriguing trees, many of which are unusual and were planted by Robin Herbert V.M.H., a past President of the Royal Horticultural Society. As well as lending wonderful summer structure, many of them are also known for their spectacular autumn colour, including the acers, nyssas, caryas and liquidambars.

 

Everyone was sorry to see an end to the afternoon, however all those who attended came away not only feeling as though they had seen something incredibly special, but also that they now had a welcome newfound knowledge and appreciation for Horatio’s Garden Wales. 

We are so grateful to Ross & Elizabeth for generously opening their garden in support of the charity, whilst we also really appreciate the support of everyone who joined us for the day. Together, you helped to raise over £5,000 for Horatio’s Garden Wales, a phenomenal total that will truly change people’s lives. 

FABULOUS SUMMER TEA PARTIES 2022

And just like that, our Fabulous Summer Tea Party is over for another year! Throughout the week of Monday 20th – Sunday 26th June, people across the country joined in with our national fundraising event, gathering with their families and friends to celebrate and support Horatio’s Garden.

  

Being that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the charity, those who were part of a Fabulous Summer Tea Party truly felt as though they were involved in something special, regardless of where they were in the UK. 

This included Alexandra, a garden designer living in Wiltshire, as well as Leonora, who united with her whole family to host the first boat-based Fabulous Summer Tea Party that we know of! 

With the weather holding up, Alexandra welcomed her nearest and dearest to her home and stunning garden for an afternoon of summer celebrations. As friends, family and neighbours (along with a few dogs!) gathered in the sunshine, there was a brilliant atmosphere, with everyone sharing that it was a very happy afternoon.

 

Naturally, there was a plethora of tea and cake to be savoured too, with no one wasting any time when it came to treating themselves!

 

Meanwhile, the Herring, Ecclestone and MacLaine families all came together for the first time in years, merrily making their way down river whilst catching up and raising lots of money too. With Leonora organising the occasion, she, her sister Melanie and their mother, Mary, who was previously a patient at the spinal centre in Stanmore, were absolutely delighted to see everyone having such a wonderful time.

 

Having previously spent time in Horatio’s Garden London & South East with Mary, Leonora was equally thrilled to see everyone coming together to successfully raise £315 for the charity. Remembering how much the garden had meant to her mother during their visit, Leonora and the whole family know exactly what a difference they, and everyone else’s, generous donations will make.

Speaking of the gardens, the week-long event was perfectly marked in each of our horticultural havens too, with all the Horatio’s Garden teams and volunteers making sure that everyone had a chance to join in with the fun!

 

Every one of our sanctuaries celebrated the occasion, not only with tea and irresistible homemade cakes, but also with fantastic live music performances. Among them were Calum McIlroy & Megan MacDonald in Horatio’s Garden Scotland, supported by LiveMusicNow Scotland, as well as Just Us Two in Horatio’s Garden Midlands and the Steve & Ben Somers Band in Horatio’s Garden London & South East.

 

We we’re also excited to see the fantastic Digby Brown team in Horatio’s Garden Scotland again too, who not only came clutching their incredible annual donation to the garden, but also stayed to lend a helping hand throughout the afternoon!

Patients, their families and friends, as well as NHS staff, were unanimous in how much they’d loved their afternoons in the garden, sharing that it was even more of a treat than usual to be able to spend time outside in the sanctuaries.

We are enormously grateful to everyone who helped, hosted, performed and supported our Fabulous Summer Tea Party week and know there are a few more to come too. If you’re someone who has yet to par-tea, we hope you all have a truly fabulous time!


Would you like to join in and host a Fabulous Summer Tea Party next year? 

If so, please click here to find out more and register your interest 

A FANTASTIC 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION AT LONGFORD CASTLE FOR HORATIO’S GARDEN

On Sunday 19th June, we marked the Horatio’s Garden 10 Year Anniversary with a celebration at Longford Castle, which proved to be an amazing success!

Our Patron, the Countess of Radnor, generously offered to host the occasion at her home, which happens to be one of the grandest estates in Britain. It has been the private ancestral seat of the Radnor family for over 300 years, and was built by Elizabeth I’s chief lady-in-waiting.

Guests toured Longford Castle’s private, spectacular formal gardens, all the while absorbing the remarkable architecture and atmosphere of the historic estate. Guests also could explore the heavenly Old Garden alongside the River Avon, which is also usually closed to the public.

We were able to welcome over 250 people, including patients from the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre at Salisbury District Hospital, to the stunning estate for the very special event. Everyone shared what a wonderful occasion it was, and how beautiful they had found the gardens and estate to be, which is a testament to the talents of Longford’s Head Gardener and the expertise of the Longford Estates team!

The Countess of Radnor gave a beautiful speech, congratulating the charity’s Founder & Chair of Trustees, Dr Olivia Chapple, for her incredible efforts and achievements throughout the past ten years.

Then, garden designer of Horatio’s Garden South West, Cleve West, who won the Public or Commercial Outdoor Space Award, the People’s Choice Award and the most prestigious accolade, the Judge’s Award, for Horatio’s Garden at the Society of Garden Designers Awards, also delivered a lovely speech. He shared more about his time and experience helping create the first ever Horatio’s Garden, and movingly commented on the outstanding progress the charity has made over these years.

Finally, Dr Olivia Chapple reflected on the last ten years, thanking all the people who have helped to make Horatio’s Garden a success, whilst simultaneously looking to the future and sharing her hopes that the next ten years be as fantastic as those that have gone before.

Meanwhile, delicious sandwiches, homemade cakes and scones, personally made by the chef of Longford Castle, paired with jam from the grounds, were being served by a fabulous team of volunteers in the pavilion. Many guests chose to indulge in the irresistible refreshments whilst relaxing at the tables inside the marquee, all decorated loving by volunteer Miyuki and her daughter, Alice, with simply beautiful flower arrangements.

The charity’s craft stall was another brilliant attraction, each piece carefully made by generous volunteers, with many guests purchasing these charming unique items as gifts for their loved ones. As people perused the collection and simply made the most of an afternoon spent in the warm company of their loved ones, guests were also treated to a perfect live performance by Hummingbird, who’s gentle sound lent the afternoon a relaxing quality.

Another popular stall displayed the charity’s beautifully bespoke merchandise, with volunteers assisting customers and sharing their own personal experiences with the Horatio’s Garden. This help was greatly appreciated, whilst everyone agreed the team’s product recommendations were second to none!

Many of the plants on sale were kindly donated by Dobbies Garden Centres, with others lovingly grown by a combination of both patients and volunteers in Horatio’s Garden South West.

We also had an exciting raffle, with brilliant prizes including a three-course lunch for two with a bottle of wine, generously donated by The Pig, a luxurious chocolate hamper gifted by Chococo, a delightful candle from The Botanical Candle Co, a gorgeous bottle of whiskey sent by Artful Dodger Whisky, a side of trout from Chalk Stream Foods, a voucher kindly given by Wilton Garden Centre, as well as some special theatre tickets and, as ever, a Horatio’s Garden hamper.

Thank you to every single person who kindly joined us for this fabulous event, including all of our incredible volunteers. You have all been part of the charity’s story so far, and for that, we will be forever grateful. Moreover, a special thank you must also go to our Patron, the Countess of Radnor, who continues to be such a wonderful support to the charity, as do the rest of her family.

HORATIO’S CYCLE – 11 CENTRES, 11 DAYS, 11 HUNDRED MILES


11 Centres. 11 Days. 11 Hundred Miles.
 

To donate, please click here 

This summer, a phenomenal team of five including former patient, Toby Morgan-Grenville, Horatio Chapple’s brother, Titus Chapple, Horatio’s good friend Robin Butler, Olivia Caplan and Mortimer McKechnie, are taking on the mammoth challenge of cycling to all 11 NHS spinal injury centres in 11 days. 

With the centres spread throughout the UK and the journey totalling 1100 miles, the team will begin their incredible journey in Belfast on Sunday 24th July.

Over the course of the next 11 days, they will travel to every NHS spinal injury centre in the country, arriving in Glasgow, Middlesbrough, Wakefield, Sheffield, Southport, Oswestry, Cardiff, Stoke Mandeville, Stanmore and finally in Salisbury on Thursday 4th August; the evening before the date marking 11 years since Horatio died. 

To donate, please click here

The team are determined to raise awareness of Horatio’s Garden as far and wide as possible, whilst they also intend to get involved with the events and workshops currently taking place in each of our horticultural havens across the UK. Naturally, there will be a welcome party waiting for the team (along with plenty of tea and cake to fuel them for the next leg of the journey!) at each of the six spinal injury centres with a Horatio’s Garden, namely Salisbury, Glasgow, Stoke Mandeville, Oswestry, Stanmore and Cardiff. 

So far, Toby, Titus, Robin, Olivia and Mortimer have remarkably raised over £39,000 but with their ambitious fundraising target set at £50,000 they’re relying on public support to help them reach their goal, so please give whatever you can!
 

To donate, please click here

Your generous donations will not only help to motivate the team as they embark on this epic challenge, but will also help everyone affected by spinal cord injury.

We are enormously grateful to Toby, Titus, Robin, Olivia and Mortimer for all their efforts to support the charity in its 10th anniversary year and wish them the best of luck as they travel the length and breadth of the UK to make a difference this summer.


Thank you so much to Red Savannah, Sturgeon Capital, Cogent and Spinal Care for their generous sponsorship of the
Horatio’s
Cycle

 
Platinum Sponsorship 

Red Savannah is the world’s leading luxury travel company. The experience we offer strives to be authentic, substantial and intelligent. No glitz. No hogwash. Just cutting edge travel, redefined for the 21st century. 

 

Gold Sponsorship 

Sturgeon Capital is a London-based venture firm investing in high impact start-ups in emerging markets that are solving the key problems affected the day-to-day lives of businesses and consumers. 

 

Silver Sponsorship – Cogent

Cogent International Limited is an independent, London-based insurance broker. They’re different to their bigger competitors, thinking and acting more quickly. Cogent are a little more approachable and a lot more passionate. With their open, innovative approach, Cogent delivers bespoke solutions for complex insurance and reinsurance needs.

 

Silver Sponsorship – Spinal Care

 

 

HRH PRINCESS EUGENIE OF YORK CELEBRATES THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF HORATIO’S GARDEN LONDON & SOUTH EAST

Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie visited Horatio’s Garden London & South East this week to celebrate the opening of the garden in The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year, which is the charity’s fifth project in the UK.

Princess Eugenie became the Patron of Horatio’s Garden in May 2019 and was thrilled 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 London Spinal Cord Injury Centre (LSCIC) at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) in Stanmore.

The garden was created following a capital appeal by Horatio’s Garden Charity which was generously supported by a range of donors, including a significant donation from The RNOH Charity. Many who contributed to the appeal attended the event to see the impact of their donation.

Dr Olivia Chapple, Founder of Horatio’s Garden, said, “We are delighted to be able to provide this beautiful garden for patients in the LSCIC. It is the fifth garden we have created in the UK and we hope it provides a place of tranquillity and healing for patients and their loved ones.”  

Dr Jan Gawronski, Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine added, “Horatio’s Garden is a fantastic addition to the Centre, and has become an essential part of our physical and psychological rehabilitation programme, enhancing the support for SCI patients and their families. It’s brilliant.”

 

The visit was particularly poignant for Her Royal Highness, as the hospital is where she underwent spinal surgery for scoliosis at the age of 12.

On the opening of the garden, Princess Eugenie said, “As a former spinal patient myself, I understand how the chance to get outside is so beneficial not only for recovery, but for staying positive at a life-changing, and often traumatic, time. I am thrilled that a Horatio’s Garden has been created here at the RNOH, it is a beautiful place and I know it will make such a difference to the patients here.”

During a tour of the new garden, HRH took time to admire the Jubilee tree which was planted for The Queen’s Green Canopy earlier in the year, during the official planting season which ran from October to March.

HRH also spent time with patients to hear their stories and spoke with Founder & Chair of Trustees, Dr Olivia Chapple, the garden’s award-winning designer, Tom Stuart-Smith, Head Gardener Ashley Edwards, Garden Administrator Tracey McCarthy, and many of the volunteers who tend the garden in order to learn more about the charity’s wonderful work.

Stephen Pay, a patient in the spinal centre said; “As a patient the garden has been an invaluable resource, both as a space in which to ’escape’ the day to day routine of the hospital and also to enjoy the activities put on by the volunteers”.

On departure, Princess Eugenie planted a grapevine, a cutting of the now thriving vine she originally planted with patients in the charity’s second garden, Horatio’s Garden Scotland, back in 2017.

The new vine will undoubtedly be treasured by patients, their loved ones and everyone involved with Horatio’s Garden London & South East.

CHELSEA DRINKS PARTY 2022

 We spent a gorgeous evening at our first Chelsea Drinks Party since 2019 in the company of many wonderful supporters on Wednesday 25th May, right in the midst of RHS Chelsea! 

The evening was home to a fantastic, buzzing atmosphere, with many of the charity’s brilliant supporters making the most of an opportunity to enjoy a spot of fizz and a selection of delicious canapés amongst friends.  

All those who attended relished the opportunity to hear more about the charity and everything we’ve been working on throughout the past three years, including horticultural stars Butter Wakefield, Claus Dalby, Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg of Harris Bugg Studio, Tom Stuart-Smith, James Alexander-Sinclair, Bunny Guinness, Horatio’s Garden Ambassador, Anneka Rice and Chair of the National Garden Scheme, George Plumptre. 

After being introduced by James Alexander-Sinclair, Horatio’s Garden Founder & Chair of Trustees, Dr Olivia Chapple, took to the stage to warmly welcome and thank everyone who joined us for the evening, whilst also sharing details of our latest projects. With Horatio’s Garden Wales having opened in the week prior to RHS Chelsea, whilst meanwhile fundraising has continued apace for Horatio’s Garden Northern Ireland, there was a great deal to celebrate over the coming hours! 

Special guest speaker and designer of Horatio’s Garden London & South East, Tom Stuart-Smith, then shared a few words. In addition to telling the story of the garden he carefully designed, which opened in the midst of the pandemic in September 2020, Tom also shared a moving quote from a friend of his, who recently sustained a spinal cord injury and who has found the garden to be a place in which to find friendship, but also a place where the constant rhythms of life and nature are eternally life-affirming. 

With Wild Artichoke creating the evening’s stunning flowers and Lewys and his saxophone lending the evening the perfect contemporary soundtrack, everyone shared how happy they were to have attended and how brilliant it was to be up to date with all things Horatio’s Garden. 

Each smile was wonderfully captured by photographer Lucy Shergold, including those of the people representing The Caledonia Foundation, who were enormously generous in their support of the occasion. 

We are so grateful to everyone who joined us and are already excited to see you all next year! 

OUR WEEK AT RHS CHELSEA 2022

We had a truly phenomenal week at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show and despite the weather not being quite as kind as in previous years, the rain certainly didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits!

Our adventure began on Friday 20th May, just prior to the opening of the Flower Show, when a team from the office made their way up to London to begin bringing our tradestand on Cross Way to life. Thanks to the eternally helpful Pete and his team from Level Partnership, the stand was already looking wonderful and was ready and waiting for our stock to be displayed, as well as for the addition of a few gorgeous planters by Italian Terrace.

 

With everything in place, it wasn’t long before garden design extraordinaire, Butter Wakefield, appeared to fill each pot with floral mastery! Working with her fantastic team, the planters were soon full to the brim with all kinds of fragrant plants, all of which were carefully chosen by Butter herself.

 

In between planting, our Founder & Chair of Trustees, Dr Olivia Chapple, also took the time to pop over to see our friends at the Griffin Glasshouses tradestand, where Rachel Smith-Ruffle, also known as The Wonky Artist, was waiting. Especially for RHS Chelsea, Rachel created a painting of Horatio’s Garden South West, leaving gaps amidst the artwork to be painted by celebrities on Press Day.

It wasn’t long before the opening day was upon us, with both Dr Olivia Chapple and fellow Executive Trustee, Victoria Holton, both awaiting the arrival of the guests attending Press Day. 

The morning began with a visit from BBC Radio Wiltshire, with Karen Gardner popping by to interview Olivia and Vicky live on air. Introducing us, Karen mentioned where we were, a brilliant spot just off of Main Avenue and gave listeners a little background about Horatio’s Garden. Olivia then offered more information, telling everyone all about the opening of our sixth garden, Horatio’s Garden Wales, in Cardiff last week and how this year marks the 10th anniversary of the charity.

To catch up on BBC Sounds, please click here 

You’ll find the interview at approximately 2:26:00 – 2:29:30

Karen, Olivia and Vicky also touched on the celebrity supporters we were hoping to meet at this year’s Show, including Horatio’s Garden Ambassador, Dame Joanna Lumley, and President of the National Garden Scheme, Mary Berry. The thought of the two coming to say ‘hello’ was exciting enough, but as it turned out, we were extraordinarily lucky to meet many, many more!

 

We were absolutely delighted to meet Dame Judi Dench for the very first time, who was a pleasure to speak with and who spent time warmly chatting with Olivia and Vicky to discover more about the charity. Following in her footsteps were Jeremy Irons and Sinéad Cusack, who on first meeting were equally a total pleasure to talk to, as was horticultural great Claus Dalby, who was intrigued to hear more about all that we do.

 

As ever, we were absolutely thrilled to see some familiar famous faces too, including Horatio’s Garden Ambassadors Dame Joanna Lumley among our favourite Chelsea Pensioners, Alan Titchmarsh MBE and Anneka Rice, as well as supporters Arit Anderson, Rachel de Thame, Dame Mary Berry and Jo Whiley.

 

Of course, a collection of our fabulous garden designers also paid a visit, with Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg of Harris Bugg Studio, Bunny Guinness, Cleve West, Andy Sturgeon and Sarah Price all popping by. We were lucky to catch James Alexander-Sinclair, Tom Stuart-Smith and Joe Swift during the week too, meaning everyone turned out in force to show their support!

It was also a joy to meet floral and plant designer, Hazel Gardiner, who brought this year’s RHS Chelsea Letters to life. Having previously worked on last year’s Garden Day UK, we were familiar with Hazel’s stunning work and it was lovely to be able to finally get to know her in person.

 

We were also enormously fortunate to see the whole day beautifully captured by photographer Lucy Shergold, as well as photographer Ellie Walpole, who came with Hazel to see us and who was immediately taken with both the vibrant planting and the charity itself. 

We weren’t alone in welcoming lots of wonderfully kind, famous faces to our tradestand either. Meanwhile, over on Royal Hospital Way, the Griffin Glasshouses team, together with Rachel The Wonky Artist, were having incredible success in encouraging a whole host of celebrities to fill in the final parts of her painting. From Darcey Bussell and Linford Christie, to Katie Piper and Craig Revel Horwood, countless people stopped to show their support, with each and every person looking genuinely overjoyed to be a part of the wonderful fundraising effort.

 

Now that the painting it complete, it will be framed and auctioned to raise money for Horatio’s Garden, a fitting RHS Chelsea memory that will undoubtedly bring a great deal of happiness to whoever the lucky bidder may be!

They were not the only thoughtful people supporting us either, with Dobbies also kindly donating a rich array of plants from their spectacular five-star tradestand. A stunning selection will be relocated to each Horatio’s Garden across the country, whilst the indoor plants appearing as part of the stand are being given to Stroke Association. Both Olivia and Vicky went to visit the Dobbies ‘green sanctuary’ and echoed the charity’s heartfelt appreciation for their generous donation.

 

With Monday at an end, the rest of the week had a lot to live up to and it certainly did not disappoint, getting off to a fantastic start when we received four stars for our tradestand!

We were lucky to spend the entirety of RHS Chelsea speaking to many incredible supporters, some who have long supported the charity and some who had never encountered us before. Everyone was enormously engaged in finding out more about the positive impact each Horatio’s Garden makes, whilst many were also keen to support us there and then. With all our beautifully bespoke products available for purchase and all profits going directly to supporting the charity, we are enormously grateful to everyone who contributed to the week’s record sales. You have all made a phenomenal difference and will continue to do so far into the future.

 

A special ‘thank you’ must go to all our brilliant volunteers too, who took turns taking care of the stand and those coming by to say ‘hello’. Every single person did an amazing job and taken together, everyone’s efforts raised more awareness about our mission than we could ever have hoped. 

Additionally, we would also like to take a moment to express our appreciation to Rathbones, who generously supported our tradestand this year, whilst the Rathbones Folio Prize continues to also support our Arts Programme in the gardens too. Beginning with a fantastic workshop with author and writer, Robert Macfarlane, earlier this year, we’re thrilled that more people in each Horatio’s Garden will be able to enjoy similar workshops throughout the year.

 

It also wouldn’t have been RHS Chelsea without our annual Chelsea Drinks Party, which this year involved a celebration right at the heart of the week on Wednesday 25th May. We were absolutely amazed by the number of people who joined us and special guest speaker, Tom Stuart-Smith, at The National Army Museum for the first time since 2019, as were the evening’s generous supporters, The Calendonia Foundation. With the atmosphere buzzing from start to finish, it was a fabulous evening and one you can read much more about here. 

As the final day of the Show arrived, our tradestand breakdown team were prepared for the task ahead and made the most of spending a final few hours at the world’s greatest flower show. Whilst they and the team were sad to see the week come to an end, we know that RHS Chelsea 2023 beckons and we’re already looking forward to doing it all again next year! 

CELEBRATING THE OPENING OF HORATIO’S GARDEN WALES AT MISKIN MANOR

Grey skies and a spot of rain didn’t stop anyone from raising a glass to the opening of Horatio’s Garden Wales, with a wonderful crowd gathering for an Afternoon Tea at the gorgeous Miskin Manor to mark the occasion.

 

The fundraising event was organised by our brilliant Wales Fundraising Group, who not only ensured everything looked lovely, but also invited plenty of passionate people to come along, all of which contributed to the warm, welcoming, celebratory atmosphere.

 

Once everyone had taken their seats, the gathered guests were joined by our Founder & Chair of Trustees, Dr Olivia Chapple, designer of Horatio’s Garden Wales, Sarah Price, and Head Gardener Owen Griffiths. Each of them relished the opportunity to chat with those who joined us for the afternoon, whilst they also took turns to say a few words about our sixth stunning sanctuary.

 

As well as discussing the thoughtful, fully accessible design, the three also talked about how the beautiful garden and the workshops organised by the charity will help to support people as they adjust to, or care for someone with, a life-changing spinal cord injury. 

Naturally, everyone was enormously engaged as Olivia, Sarah and Owen all offered their unique insights into the world of Horatio’s Garden Wales and we’re as visibly filled with joy at the prospect of the garden now being there for patients, their loved ones and NHS staff.

 

Isabel Graham spoke too on behalf of the Wales Fundraising Group, giving her thanks to everyone who had kindly attended and expressing how grateful she was to her fellow group members for all their hard work.

After Isabel’s speech came to a close, Amanda Harris also took to the stage, not only telling guests more about her current adventure to navigate all 871 miles of the Welsh Coast Path to raise money for Horatio’s Garden Wales and Rookwood SpUR, but also offering her perspective as a former patient of the spinal centre. She emphasised just how vital the sanctuary will be to patients spending time at University Hospital Llandough and shared that it would be a lifeline to people’s families and friends too.

With so many people enthusiastically wishing to support our sixth sanctuary, plenty of guests took the time to enter the event’s fabulous raffle, all the while enjoying a little music from singing group Harmonyz, who kindly joined us for the event too.

 

Those who spent the afternoon with us weren’t alone in their desire to help the charity either, with the event generously supported by Hugh James, Alison Bentley Flowers and Trustmark.

 

Cari Sowden-Taylor, Partner at Hugh James shared, “We are extremely proud to sponsor the launch of Horatio’s Garden Wales. It was a wonderful afternoon celebrating a fantastic charity and we’re looking forward to patients and staff at the spinal centre being able to enjoy the beautiful garden.” 

Alison Bentley and Trustmark too were thrilled to have been involved with the event. All the stunning flowers were gathered and arranged by the former, whilst the latter generously printed both the table numbers for the event and leaflets about the upcoming opening of Llanover Garden, which will be raising money for Horatio’s Garden Wales too. 

It was an absolute pleasure to celebrate with everyone at Miskin Manor and we’re so grateful to all those who joined us for helping the make the opening of our sixth garden even more memorable.


Generously supported by

   

SPINAL CORD INJURY AWARENESS DAY 2022

Today marks Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day and although the day is always in our annual calendar, this year has been particularly special.

Thanks to a bright idea from the team at Back Up, we’ve been working with seven different fantastic spinal cord injury charities over the past few weeks in order to make Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day 2022 one to remember. 

After an initial meeting with Back Up, Aspire, Cauda Equina Champions, Regain, Spinal Research, Spinal Injuries Association and WheelPower, we all realised that each of our charities plays a different role in people’s rehabilitation journey and that of their loved ones too. 

We also discovered that due to the panedemic, the support offered by each charity is needed now more than ever. 

It was this desire to reach out to people who may need support, but were unsure where to find it, that inspired all eight charities to come together to emphasise the wide and varied network available to everyone affected by spinal cord injury. 

After working with Marco Scognamiglio, Global CEO of RAPP, a worldwide marketing agency, the team kindly worked with Alice Pedder, Communications & Marketing Manager at Back Up, to create assets that would help each charity mark the day, whilst also providing people with key information about which services each charity provides. 

This was instrumental in the day’s social media takeover event too, which has proven to be a huge success! With one charity featuring every hour on each of the seven other’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds, everyone had the opportunity to speak to each other’s audience and touch the lives of people who may otherwise have never known about the incredible breadth of support available.

With the help of our brilliant ambassador and three-time Olympic Rowing Champion, Pete Reed, as well as numerous others, awareness has been raised further and wider this Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day than ever before. 

It’s truly been a pleasure to work with Back Up, Aspire, Cauda Equina Champions, Regain, Spinal Research, Spinal Injuries Association and WheelPower and we are truly grateful to each of them for lending us their social media profiles today. 

Here’s hoping next year’s Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day simply becomes even bigger and better!


Please scroll through the images below to discover more about each charity and what we do

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