TEWV are working in partnership with St Nicks, a local centre for nature and green living to help patients staying in hospital learn new skills, connect with nature and build relationships.
St. Nicks have been working with staff from the occupational therapy team at Peppermill Court to deliver gardening sessions for people staying at the unit. Working together, ‘The Peppermill Planters’ are creating a welcoming, safe and lasting space where patients, their families and staff can relax and enjoy being outdoors.
Dedicated ecotherapy staff from St Nicks Environment Centre visit Ebor and Minster ward each week, helping patients to transform their outdoor space into gardens that can be enjoyed throughout the year; with flowering plants, bushes, trees and seasonal produce. Staff also host indoor sessions during adverse weather to make sure patients have continued access to ecotherapy over the winter months.
Kathy Sturgess, ecotherapy project manager from St. Nick’s said “The physical and mental health benefits of gardening and green space activities have been widely reported. Green care and social-horticulture therapy in particular have been shown to reduce stress levels and have a positive impact on anxiety and depression.”
Cecile Gimarangan, a specialist occupational therapist from TEWV involved with the project said “The sessions not only have encouraged people to get closer to nature but have promoted a sense of ownership among those involved, creating a community of gardeners and fostering a sense of belonging.
Since the gardening group started in May, 113 patients attended the session, with many reporting positive outcomes including an increase in physical activity, feeling happier and being more confident. Additionally seven people have enrolled onto the ecotherapy programme at St Nicks which will continue to support recovery following discharge.”
The project funded by the TEWV innovation fund, also provides green care support for individuals recovering from mental ill health at 22 the Avenue, a City of York Council supported housing unit.
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