Green fingers and real sense of achievement

Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humberside (RDaSH) staff and service users celebrate the success of the gardening project at a coffee morning.
Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humberside (RDaSH) staff and service users celebrate the success of the gardening project at a coffee morning.

Service users and staff at an inpatient unit for adults with mental health needs in Swallownest have created a little oasis of calm thanks to a gardening project.

The project at Swallownest Court, which is run by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH), was developed in response to feedback from service users who wanted to get involved in gardening activities and, thanks to £500 of funding from the Trust’s charitable fund, and expert advice from Hobson’s Nurseries, the group of 15 service users along with occupational therapy staff set about installing planters full of bedding plants near the wards, before going on to develop a neglected bed on site.

RDaSH senior occupational therapist Beth Sidaway said: “Everyone was really motivated by the project and there was a real sense of team work – especially when it came to shovelling the five tonnes of soil we had to clear before planting could begin.”

A coffee morning to showcase the flower gardens and thank project members and supporters saw service user Stephen awarded a certificate of outstanding contribution. The group now plans to develop a sensory garden later in the year.