Spring has well and truly sprung and the Rosewood Garden is bloom! Thanks to the work of our volunteers in maintaining and planting it all.
by Michael Salter
Way back in February, volunteers based at Rosewood and at Duncan Macmillan House were treated to PLACE audit training sessions! At least we would get to know what the acronym means. Delivered by Paul Theed, (Modern Matron, Specialist Services Directorate Quality Team) in a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere we soon knew that Patient Led Assessments of the Care Environment are an important part of maintaining high standards in the delivery of care in our hospitals. The challenging, busy and frequently staff-pressured life on our hospital wards, can lead to a culture of prioritising. Standards in this specialised care environment may slip BUT frequently they are kept to a very high level and this should be acknowledged and praised, just as much as focussing on failings that must be remedied.
No sooner was the training session completed at Rosewood, than Joanna Rapson was all over the volunteers like a rash. No way was she going to miss harnessing our enthusiasm for discovering long-term lingering dust, non-laminated notices, damaged flooring etc., etc. Quite quickly, the long list for volunteer inspectors for the PLACE audits in Mental Health establishments was filled.
The next 10 weeks saw a flurry of activity under the guidance and direction of Paul Theed. A small army of volunteers was dispatched periodically to Highbury Hospital, Wells Road, Bassetlaw Hospital, Millbrook Unit and the QMC, where we were able to put the training to good use and reinforce the skills with which we had been imparted. This has been a most interesting and tremendously important task in which we volunteers have been able to contribute. Now we all hope that the patients and staff in these vital Health Services will benefit from the inspections, through recognition of some really good practice as well as the improvements and changes that are being implemented.
One of our volunteers, Carl, has been busy baking and doing Easter crafts at Thornywood. He attends weekly and does music activities, baking, crafts and plays cards with service users.
Carl seems to really enjoy his time spent there and we’ve had some lovely feedback from staff about how much they appreciate him.
Decorated eggs for Easter – Carl’s egg on the right was named “Dred” and survived two days of being carried around in a bag and shown to people before cracking. Dred even went on a walk and to the museum!
Some of our volunteers were recently involved with the Millbrook Spring Fayre, which was held on Thursday 6th April. One of our volunteers, Shelia, attends the Millbrook Steering Group which is linked to Millbrook LIVE and helps to support and arrange the Spring, Summer and Christmas Fayres.
The Spring Fayre was held in the reception area of Millbrook and they had also opened up the old music room. There were stalls with baked savoury items and cakes; some baked and donated by our volunteers Sheila and Michael, and other cakes decorated by patients on the wards. Craft stalls included some donated items by members of the public and some made and donated by patients. There were also book stalls and a second hand clothing stall; themed games “Throw the carrot through the rabbits mouth”; and a tombola stall run by another volunteer, Ingrid. A “Best Easter Egg” competition was held and Ingrid judged what she thought was the best papier mache egg which had been decorated by patients. The winner won a chocolate egg.Feedback from our volunteers who attended was that the attendance was quite good despite a dip around lunchtime. They enjoyed meeting patients and bringing in new faces for them to meet to add variety to their day. They thought the atmosphere was nice and that patients went away pleased.
In total, £116.50 was raised which will be used for charitable funds. The next Fayre will be in Summer on the 3rd August 2017 with a garden party theme with croquet and afternoon tea.
A nice mention of Rosewood in the March Green Champion e-bulletin and our recent work in the garden as part of NHS Sustainability Day. The newsletter is available for download via the link below.
A huge thank you and well done is deserved by a team of volunteers at Rosewood for their recent work in the garden. In particular, Gordon, Steve and Michael’s hard work is very much appreciated. Also thanks to Stacie from the Environment Team who came to the Centre meeting to do a talk on NHS Sustainability Day and got stuck right in to digging up weeds and helping out.
Rosewood garden before…
The old wood and dead clematis have been used to create a “Bug Hotel” along with some recycled bread palettes, old pots, broken concrete and an old door mat. This will hopefully be a good habitat for insects and possibly the odd hedgehog.
A handcrafted willow bird feeder and nesting box have been donated to the Centre as an example of what can be made with the willow we’ve started to grow. These will help support the local wildlife.
The willow has been planted ready to grow and harvest to donate to wards. We’ve planted a colourful selection of basketry willow, so we should have a rainbow of colour later in the year.
We still have work ahead of us in planting and growing vegetables for the rest of the year, but we’ve already taken a big step in tidying it up after the winter season.
As part of NHS Sustainability Day, our pledges as a centre are:
- To improve our recycling
- To turn off equipment not in use
- To support local wildlife
Thursday 23rd March is NHS Sustainability Day. At Rosewood, we’re going to be a day late in joining in, but our Garden Group which runs on Fridays is planting willow which we’re looking to regularly harvest over the year to provide for weaving crafts on wards. We’re also looking to trim back some of the plants which have died back over winter to freshen them up now that spring is almost upon us. We’ll be getting the beds ready for vegetables and have fruit bushes to plant to help contribute to lunches later in the year.
We have plans to use old wood to create a “Bug Hotel” to help increase biodiversity in the garden and we’ll be moving round some existing plants to create more of a sensory area by our benches. Our rose bushes will be moved to a more sunny part of the garden to help them flourish. We’ll also be starting to recycle more of our kitchen waste in compost as we already use old coffee grounds in the garden.
Within the building itself, we’re working on getting into the habit of turning off lights when they’re not needed, turning off computer equipment not in use, turning down the heating by a degree or two and increasing our recycling.