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March 8 2021

dr olivia chapple joins helen fospero on the convex conversation podcast

The Convex Conversation is a weekly podcast series hosted by journalist and broadcaster, Helen Fospero. The episodes are an opportunity to listen to a wealth of inspirational life stories from a variety of people, including Susie Dent, Adil Ray OBE and Claire Lomas. 

With such an impressive list of former guests, we’re thrilled to share that our very own Founder & Chair of Trustees, Dr Olivia Chapple, has this week taken her place among them, talking to Helen all about Horatio’s Garden.

To listen, please click here

Alternatively, you can listen on Spotify, Apple Music, or on your podcast platform of choice. 

Throughout the episode Helen can be heard asking Olivia various thoughtful questions, which begin with her inviting Olivia to share a little more about her son, Horatio, and the Chapple family. 

As you will hear, Olivia happily replies by offering listeners an insight into her family’s life and Horatio’s personality, aspirations and inspirations. Among them she mentions his volunteering at the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre in Salisbury, which was where the seed of Horatio’s Garden was planted, as Horatio was moved by listening to patients to pursue creating the garden they told him they dreamed of. 

It was Horatio’s positive vision that Olivia goes onto share helped her, her family and friends to cope following Horatio’s death, as it enabled everyone to continue to be connected to him and his ideas through something filled with energy and drive. 

Helen’s considered interview naturally turned at this point to the creation of the charity’s first garden, Horatio’s Garden South West in Salisbury, with Olivia telling listeners all about how Cleve West came to be involved with the projecthow grateful she is to everyone who supported the then pioneering project and what a privilege it is to hear patients’ stories. 

As a friend of Claire Lomas, Helen herself has her own story about being affected by spinal injury and knows from listening to Claire that people who are newly injured often spend many months in hospital processing a great deal without access to a life-affirming outdoor space. 

It’s this that leads her to asking Olivia to explain a little more about how gardens and gardening have a positive impact. Having now seen the influence the natural world has on people’s physical and psychological wellbeing for almost 10 years in each of our gardens, Olivia shares the myriad benefits she’s encountered since establishing the charity. These range from Horatio’s Garden improving people’s mental health, to supporting people’s physical rehabilitation, to providing people with a place where they can be both independent and come together in relaxed environment with loved ones. 

The subtle accessibility of each garden and the events held by the charity are a vital part of helping people to rebuild their lives, ensuring difficult conversations can be had whilst simultaneously enabling people to continue to feel like themselves as they adjust to their injuries. 

As the podcast gradually eases to a close, Helen and Olivia discuss just a few of the various people who support the charity, including Tom and Sue Stuart-Smith, Joanna Lumley, Mary Berry, the National Garden Scheme and of course our Royal Patron, HRH Princess Eugenie, as well as the charity’s future plans. 

As Helen and Olivia agree, Horatio’s Garden is a testament to the power of working together and an example of just how transformative kindness can be. 

If you would like to listen to their uplifting conversation in full, please click here

Alternatively, you can listen on Spotify, Apple Music, or on your podcast platform of choice. 

We are enormously grateful to Helen for inviting Olivia to be part of The Convex Conversation series and very much hope you enjoy listening to the podcast too.

Photo Credit: Chaz Oldham

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