Bo'ness Hospital, charities

Hospital garden volunteers praised

Volunteers have been praised for their work transforming a garden at Bo’ness Hospital.

The enthusiastic helpers responded to an appeal from Bo’net – the Bo’ness Networking Group – to help revamp the outdoor space, which was looking particularly “tired”.

Maria Ford from Bo’net said: “Over the winter months, a merry band of volunteers have been busy cleaning up the garden serving ward one and getting it ready for replanting. Now, as we enter better weather, we’ll see new plants and fittings go into the space. We’re hoping the revitalised garden will be ready this summer.”

She added: “On behalf of Bo’net I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has donated time to help the project so far. Your efforts are very much appreciated.”

The hospital garden project has attracted nearly 20 volunteers. Some of the helpers are pictured here.

Bo’net appointed the social enterprise Sustainable Thinking Scotland (STS) to help deliver the initiative and develop final plans in consultation with staff and patients.

The project is delivering:

  • new flower beds;
  • new seating for patients and visitors;
  • wheelchair accessible fruit and vegetable beds;
  • a water fountain to attract birds into the garden; and
  • storage space for garden tools and furniture.
As part of the project, iron ornaments have been repainted. The garden area has also been tidied up and cleared over the winter. Volunteers will now turn their attention to planting.

The current hospital building, off Dean Road, was opened in 2004 and provides 40 inpatient beds for physically frail older people and those with mental health problems.

The garden project is being made possible thanks to an award of £15,000* from the Life Changes Trust, a Scottish charity supporting the empowerment and inclusion of people living with dementia and their unpaid carers. The Trust is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

Maria said: “Thanks to our funders, we were able to buy materials and plants to transform the space, but input from local people helped us do so much more.”

The hospital garden last summer, before work started. The open space serving ward one was “tired” and in need of a revamp. The new look garden is expected to be revealed in the summer of 2022.

Sustainable Thinking Scotland is based at the Walled Garden at Kinneil Estate in the town.

It grows fresh fruit and vegetables to donate to local food banks and also runs a recycling project to create horticultural and agricultural products from wood and green waste. STS also delivers learning projects.

Director Sean Kerr said: “We’re pleased to be working on the hospital garden project. Not only is it creating a more inclusive and brighter outdoor space for people at the hospital, it’s also allowing local people to get involved and learn useful gardening skills.”

Follow the garden project at www.bonet.org.uk/garden

The transformation of the garden is being supported by the Life Changes Trust, using funding from the National Lottery.
New arbour seating areas have been supplied as part of the revamp. Pics: Adrian Mahoney/The PR Store

NOTES TO EDITORS

Bo’net – the Bo’ness Networking Group – is a charity representing groups across the Bo’ness area. It aims to support the development of community organisations and make the area a better place to live and work. Bo’net is a SCIO – a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation – registered with OSCR, the Scottish Charity Regulator. The charity number is SC049848. Find out more at www.bonet.org.uk

The Life Changes Trust was set up with a National Lottery Community Fund endowment of £50 million to improve the lives of people living with dementia, unpaid carers of people living with dementia and young people with care experience. Find out more at https://www.lifechangestrust.org.uk/

Sustainable Thinking Scotland Community Interest Company (STS C.I.C) is a social enterprise created and designed to address a wide range of social and environmental issues within the local area, using any profits and assets for the public good. Find out more at www.fb.com/SustainableThinkingScotlandCIC/

N.B. * The Life Changes Trust initially awarded the project £12,000 – but this was increased to £15000.

For enquiries about Bo’net, please contact: Adrian Mahoney, The PR Store, Tel: 07967 150560

For enquiries about the Life Changes Trust, contact: Deborah Cowan, Director of Communications and PR, Tel: 07710 542535