June 17, 2024

Horatio’s Garden Northern Ireland celebrates its official opening

On Saturday 15 June, we were delighted to officially open our seventh horticultural haven in the Spinal Cord Injuries Unit (SCIU) in Musgrave Park Hospital, Belfast!

The opening was a huge success, and we were delighted to hear speeches from Horatio’s Garden Founder, BBC journalist and Horatio’s Garden Northern Ireland volunteer, Kathy Clugston, Health Minister, Mike Nesbitt, and beneficiary and supporter of Horatio’s Garden Northern Ireland, Michael Scott.

We were also pleased to welcome Lord Mayor of Belfast, Micky Murray of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, who joined us to mark the occasion.

The event was hosted in Horatio’s Garden Northern Ireland itself, a fully accessible 1800m2 space full of hope and colour. The garden was carefully designed by Andy Sturgeon in collaboration with patients, their loved ones, NHS staff, and representatives from the charity, and features a timber-clad garden room, an accessible glasshouse with three raised beds, a Donegal quartz dry stone wall water feature, two garden pods, a large pergola, and a boccia court for patients to enjoy playing the fully inclusive and adaptable Paralympic sport.

Discussing the event, Dr Olivia Chapple, Founder and Chair of Trustees of Horatio’s Garden said: “I would like to thank everyone who has so generously donated, fundraised and volunteered to enable the seventh Horatio’s Garden to be created in Belfast. Now, anyone with a life changing spinal injury from across Northern Ireland, will have this outstandingly beautiful garden to support them in their rehabilitation and adjustment during the months they spend in hospital.”

The official opening occurred on the same day that Dr Olivia Chapple was awarded an OBE in the King’s Birthday Honours list for her exceptional services to charity. Learn more about her achievement here.

Sharing his thought’s on the garden’s official opening, Andy Sturgeon, designer of Horatio’s Garden Northern Ireland, said: “It was an enormous privilege to be asked to design Horatio’s Garden Northern Ireland. As a garden designer, it’s very unusual to get an opportunity to have such a positive and fundamental impact on people’s lives. It’s fantastic to have created this place that will foster wellbeing during long periods of rehabilitation and have a transformative effect on thousands of patients and their loved ones. This garden, I feel, is making a real difference.”

Dr Cathy Jack, Chief Executive at Belfast Trust, said: “I am delighted Horatio’s Garden is officially open at Musgrave Park Hospital. Our team at the Spinal Cord Injuries Unit have enjoyed working with the charity to support the development of the beautiful therapeutic garden. The space will bring immense physical and psychological benefits to our patients, giving them the opportunity to leave the clinical ward environment and enjoy the outdoors during their time in rehabilitation. Our dedicated staff will also benefit from the environment and are looking forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on the amazing care they provide to our patients. I want to thank everyone who has made it possible for us to be home to Horatio’s Garden in Northern Ireland.”

We are immensely grateful to everyone who has helped us to create and nurture Horatio’s Garden Northern Ireland, including:

  • Andy Sturgeon Garden Design
  • Gleeds, project managers and generous sponsor of the official opening event
  • Head Gardener, Matthew Lee, and the garden’s incredible volunteers
  • Belfast Health and Social Care Trust
  • Musgrave Park Hospital and its brilliant NHS staff team
  • McCusker Contracts Ltd
  • Whittaker & Watt, architects
  • National Garden Scheme
  • MITRE Trust
  • The Geoff and Fiona Squire Foundation
  • Alan Nappin (ARN Foundation)
  • Ulster Garden Villages
  • Ulster Rugby, official charity partner for 2022/23 and 2023/24 seasons
  • Northern Ireland Chamber, charity of the year 2024
  • Cameron Landscapes

and many other generous supporters and donors who have helped to make Horatio’s Garden Northern Ireland a thriving sanctuary which will support thousands of people for many years to come.

Share this:

Keep in touch

Sign-up to hear the latest news and activities from Horatio’s Garden

By completing this form, you confirm that you are aged 18 years or over and that you are happy to receive emails from Horatio’s Garden in accordance with our Privacy Policy. We will never share your details with anyone else without your express permission.

Shopping cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping