May 3, 2023

Ulster Rugby visit Horatio’s Garden Wales and fundraising continues at latest match vs. Edinburgh

Prior to their bonus-point win over Cardiff Rugby in March, our charity partner Ulster Rugby visited Horatio’s Garden Wales at University Hospital Llandough in Cardiff to gain an insight into what people adjusting to life-changing spinal injuries at Musgrave Park Hospital can expect when Horatio’s Garden Northern Ireland opens later this year.

Past and present patients, as well as NHS staff, the garden’s volunteers and the charity’s staff all came together to give a warm welcome President of the IRFU Ulster Branch, Philip Gregg, Honorary Treasurer, Michael Boyd, and Chair of the Ulster Rugby Management Committee, Paul Terrington.

With many rugby fans coming along to meet the Ulster Rugby executive team, the gathered group had a great deal to talk about, including the evidently positive impact Horatio’s Garden Wales has had on people’s lives since opening in May 2022.

Fantastic fundraiser Amanda Harris, who is currently navigating all 870 miles of the Welsh Coast Path to raise money for Horatio’s Garden, was among those meeting them team. She explained from her personal experience what an enormous difference our immersive, restorative havens make to the wellbeing of people after spinal injury.

Helen Johnson, Garden Administrator in Horatio’s Garden Wales, was also on hand to give Ulster Rugby a wonderful tour of the garden.

As everyone explored together, Helen shared: “It’s a joy for patients to be able to come out into the garden to look at the flowers, listen to the birds, and enjoy a cup of tea with cake. I see their faces light up, as they are glad to be outdoors in the fresh air and enjoy what the garden has to offer.”

The team’s visit to Horatio’s Garden Wales followed Ulster Rugby CEO, Jonny Petrie and players Matty Rea, Sean Reffell and Robert Baloucoune, along with Philip Gregg, joining the charity on site in Horatio’s Garden Northern Ireland to mark the start of the build.

In no time at all, the Ulster Rugby team once again took to the pitch for their home match against Edinburgh Rugby, where the charity’s fantastic volunteers were waiting to collect money in the stands to help raise the final £50,000 the charity needs to open Horatio’s Garden Northern Ireland.

With Ulster on form, resulting in a 28-14 win for the home team, countless fans were incredibly generous on the night, with an incredible £930 raised thanks to the kindness of the crowd and the team’s continued support of Horatio’s Garden.

The best part? All the money given will be doubled by an incredible anonymous donor, ensuring Horatio’s Garden is there to support the physical and psychological wellbeing of patients and their loved ones from across Northern Ireland, as well as NHS staff, throughout their long stays in hospital.

Please click here to donate and find out more

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