Yesterday we hosted our very first online webinar event, An Evening of Conversation with Horatio’s Garden, and were absolutely delighted to be joined by over 200 of our incredible supporters.
Our invitees gathered on Zoom for an informative hour of uplifting and insightful stories, which were all about how Horatio’s Garden has been helping patients, their loved ones and NHS staff throughout the past year, whilst also revealing a little more about our exciting plans for the future.
Appearing alongside our Founder & Chair of Trustees, Dr Olivia Chapple, were three special speakers, including award-winning designer of Horatio’s Garden London & South East, Tom Stuart-Smith, Head Gardener of Horatio’s Garden London & South East, Ashley Edwards, and Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries Ward Manager, Rebecca Warren.
All of our guests were thrilled to be part of the event, with each individual sharing a unique perspective on all that the charity does. Tom spoke of designing Horatio’s Garden London & South East, detailing his vision for the project and the many wonderful plants which brought it to life, whilst Head Gardener Ashley shared how vital the therapeutic qualities of the garden have been for so many patients since opening in September 2020. He has regularly been working on a one-to-one basis with lots of patients, including 11-year-old Scarlett, who loves spending time outside amongst the planting with her Dad, as well as regularly gardening with Ashley and crafting with Garden Administrator, Tracey McCarthy.
Rebecca too shared many incredible, moving stories about the positive impact Horatio’s Garden Midlands has had on both patients and NHS staff since it opened in September 2019 at the Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries. She offered the audience the opportunity to understand a little more about how life-changing a spinal cord injury is, emphasising that the charity’s work supports people’s physical and mental rehabilitation enormously. This was made even more apparent with the outbreak of Coronavirus last year, with the garden becoming a lifeline for everyone spending time in the spinal centre. Indeed, she shared that the centre’s staff were as grateful for the garden as the patients and that in the past Horatio’s Garden has in fact helped her to recruit new nurses, physiotherapists and so on.
As the evening came to a close, Olivia talked about our progress in developing our sixth and seventh gardens in Cardiff and Belfast, as well as sharing our ultimate goal to establish a Horatio’s Garden in all 11 NHS spinal injury centres.
There was also time for a few thoughtful questions from our wonderful audience, which our panelists enthusiastically responded to with equally considerate answers.
It was lovely to have such a supportive, engaged audience and we were truly touched by the many appreciative comments we received following the event. With the evening being such a success, we hope that we will be able to welcome everyone to another one of our online occasions in future.