We were absolutely thrilled to feature on the most recent episode of This Is Spinal Crap, the podcast all about living well with a spinal cord injury.
The episode, aptly titled ‘Create and Grow’ was hosted by two members of the Spinal Crap team, Ruth and Grace. They were joined by our very own Stoke Mandeville Head Gardener, Jacqui Martin-Löf, as well as author Brian Abram who is otherwise known as ‘Grandad Wheels’.
The podcast was all about creativity, focussing primarily on how both gardening and writing can be both therapeutic and immensely rewarding.
Author Brian, was inspired to create the Grandad Wheels book series after his grandson Charles adopted it as a nickname for him. This prompted Brian to start thinking about the story he would soon tell his grandson about why he was in a wheelchair and so began the tale of Grandad Wheels. Each story takes both Charlie and his grandad on an adventure, whilst gently touching on a few elements of living with a spinal cord injury. The books have so far raised over £5,000 for both the Spinal Injuries Association and BackUp, which is an incredible achievement.
Both Brian and host Grace agreed that they found writing therapeutic, but Brian also shared that in reality he enjoys growing radishes with his grandson too. Jacqui and Brian agreed that having plants with a quick turnaround makes all the difference, particularly when children are involved, as it means everyone feels a sense of purpose and achievement in a matter of days.
Jacqui gave listeners a host of grow your own ideas in the episode, particularly inspired by the times she’s worked with children spending time in the National Spinal Injury Centre’s paediatric ward. Particularly wonderfully, she shared with listeners that gardening is a brilliant hobby for all ages and that you don’t necessarily need a garden; a windowsill and some kitchen towel is more than enough to bring the beauty of the outdoors, indoors.
Host Ruth also asked a little more about the inspiration behind the charity, which prompted Jacqui to tell the story of Horatio’s Garden and how all our supporters’ incredible generosity has continually helped us to create and nurture all our beautiful gardens.
You can discover much more about both Grandad Wheels and Horatio’s Garden by listening to the podcast, which is now available on the link at the top of this page and on Apple and Spotify, so please do give it a listen!
And if you’d like to see Jacqui’s seed sowing demonstration on The Spinal Crap Virtual Café, simply check out This Is Spinal Crap on Facebook HERE.
The Virtual Café slot was inspiring people to get involved in #grownwithspinalcrap, which the podcast team and Jacqui came up with as a fun gardening competition. Simply grow either the tallest bean, or the densest wheatgrass, share your photos with the hashtag and at the end of April a few winners will be selected to receive a Spinal Crap mug.
We’re so grateful to This Is Spinal Crap and the Spinal Injuries Association for including us and hope to collaborate with the team again soon!
To help support Horatio’s Garden, please text GARDEN to 70450 to donate £5. Thank you.
(Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message).