Another month of 2020 has passed in the blink of an eye, which means we have more stories for you from each of our beautiful gardens around the UK.
Whilst lots of you reading this will know how important outdoor spaces are for everyone’s health and wellbeing, this year has truly placed the value of nature at the forefront of our collective consciousness. Just as your gardens, local parks, allotments and window boxes will have brought a little joy to your life, Horatio’s Garden has been there to do the same for patients and NHS staff.
Patients and staff have been using Horatio’s Garden Salisbury every day throughout lockdown, and although Head Gardener Stephen Hackett has had to remain socially distant from everyone, this hasn’t stopped him from chatting and learning a little more about how important the space has been throughout the past few months.
This sentiment was echoed in photographer Russell Sach’s mind, who found himself thinking about the charity whilst in lockdown at home. He felt that capturing patients and staff in the stunning surroundings at this unprecedented time would not only make for a powerful portfolio, but would also be a visually interesting story that deserved to be told.
After getting in touch with us and Salisbury District Hospital, he visited the garden and was pleasantly surprised to find many patients and members of staff ready and waiting to have their photo taken. The day was enjoyed by everyone as an exciting treat and Russell shared it was a pleasure to be able to spend time with all those taking part in and watching the shoot. As the images illustrate, for all the challenges those spending time in the spinal centre are currently facing, the calming influence of the garden is something that helps everyone to briefly escape from both the ward and their worries.
Similarly, the Sports Day held in the garden in collaboration with NHS staff and charities was a huge success. Lots of patients joined in with the activities, which made for a fun-filled afternoon, whilst they had the added benefit of supporting patients’ physical rehabilitation.
Both patients and NHS staff have also been appreciating being able to see the garden from the ward, with Louise Figgures getting in touch to share these gorgeous photos of sunrise over the garden. She told us that she captured the photo whilst taking a quiet 10-minute break from the night shift, whilst also mentioning how helpful it is to simply be able to bring patients to the window to look out onto the garden.
We’re hoping to soon be able to welcome volunteers back to the garden, but in the meantime patients have now begun to be able to see their family and friends for brief visits for the first time since lockdown began over three months ago. The emotional scenes touched everyone in the spinal centre and hopefully it won’t be too much longer until many more people can enjoy their long-awaited visits safely socially distanced in Horatio’s Garden.