Bo'ness Hospital, charities, community, National Lottery

New look for Bo’ness Hospital garden – after £15,000 revamp

A “tired” hospital garden has been transformed into an oasis of colour, thanks to community efforts and £15,000 of National Lottery funding.

The revamped outdoor space at Bo’ness Hospital was officially opened today (Sunday, June 12). Bo’ness Fair Queen Ellie Van Der Hoek cut a ribbon to declare the garden open, ably assisted by patient Margaret King (102). The Bo’ness Belles singing group then entertained visitors and patients at a special garden party.

Fair queen and hospital resident, flanked by garden party guests.
Bo’ness Fair Queen Ellie Van Der Hoek cuts a ribbon to declare the garden open, ably assisted by Bo’ness Hospital patient Margaret King (102).

Bo’net – the Bo’ness Networking Group – has been working for the past year to breathe fresh life into the garden, off ward one.

Madelene Hunt, the chair of Bo’net, said: “It’s wonderful to see the garden completed. It was looking so tired a year ago. The transformation of the space has been incredible.

“I hope the refreshed garden will be a real hit with the elderly patients in the hospital, plus staff and visitors.”

The project was made possible thanks to an award of £15,000 from the Life Changes Trust. The Trust was funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

The revamp delivered:

  • new raised flower beds and hanging baskets;
  • wheelchair-accessible fruit and vegetable beds;
  • new seating for patients and visitors – including wooden arbours;
  • a water fountain to attract birds into the garden;
  • garden wall mosaics, using dementia-friendly colours;
  • vintage advertising signs on repainted, colourful fences; plus
  • storage space for garden tools and furniture.
A view of the hospital garden, showing seats and planters.
The hospital garden after the transformation.

Maria Ford from Bo’net said: “There’s a mix of patients within Bo’ness Hospital.
“Some have dementia and others are frail. We worked closely with staff, patients and their families to finalise ideas for the garden transformation.

“We were also fortunate to have some wonderful volunteers to help carry out the work, supported by amazing National Lottery funding. We’d like to thank all the Lottery players who ultimately made this project possible.”

Another view of the hospital garden.
The revamped garden includes raised beds and comfy seating areas for patients to enjoy.

Irene Martin, the clinical nurse manager responsible for Bo’ness Hospital, said the garden would make a real difference to patients.

“Bo’net have been hugely enthusiastic about helping the hospital. Their enthusiasm attracted much-needed funding to drive this project forward.

“Sitting in a garden, surrounded by flowers and birdsong, is a wonderful health benefit and gives our patients an opportunity to share precious time with their loved ones.”

Bo’net appointed local social enterprise Sustainable Thinking Scotland (STS), based at the walled garden at nearby Kinneil Estate, to help deliver the garden project. STS director Sean Kerr said: “The project has been great. We were thrilled to be part of it.”

Bo'ness Belles singing group.
The Bo’ness Belles singing group entertain the guests at the Bo’ness Hospital garden party.
A tree surrounded by a circular seat, flanked by a "wall" of knitted poppies.
A tree has been given a circular seating area with added wind chimes.

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. Recent projects have included the creation of a new tourist map for Bo’ness and Blackness and support for new audio guides.

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 https://www.bonet.org.uk/

Read more about the garden project (including previous news releases at www.bonet.org.uk/garden )

A lady in a wheelchair, flanked by two female visitors.
Garden party guests enjoy the new space at Bo’ness Hospital.

Bo’ness Hospital is a community hospital in Dean Road, Bo’ness. The current hospital building was opened in 2004, and provides 40 inpatient beds for physically frail older people and those with mental health problems. Find out more here

A view of Bo'ness Hospital garden before the revamp. Pic shows chairs and some plants.
The garden at Ward one at Bo’ness Hospital was looking “tired” before the transformation.

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. The Trust was a time-limited organisation. On March 31, 2022, it reached the end of its “spend-out” endowment from the National Lottery Community Fund. The Trust is now closed. The Trust previously allocated the garden project £12000. This was later increased to £15000.

Logos for Life Changes and the National Lottery Community Fund

Please note: Working with people with dementia has shown that the phrase “Dementia sufferers” or using the word suffering to describe dementia has a strongly negative view from people with the condition. We would request that you avoid using the phrase in headlines or in any article you publish to combat the negative way that people with dementia feel the condition is described.

Picture of crowd at the official opening ceremony at the hospital garden.
Cutting the ribbon to officially declare the garden open on June 12, 2022.
Seating area in garden.
The revamped garden at Bo’ness Hospital has lots of comfy seating areas.
Path area beside main garden.
Opposite the main part of the garden is a ramped area covered in crocheted poppies.
Giant ladybugs and a ladybug/bird house.
Artworks and installations are all around the garden.
One of the mosaics in the garden.
Eye-catching mosaics were specially commissioned for the garden. See story here.
A seating area beside a blue fence.
New seating has been installed for use by patients and their visitors.
A sign saying "Welcome to Ward 1 Garden".
When you have a new garden you need a sign! All pictures by Adrian Mahoney, The PR Store.

Issued by The PR Store on behalf of Bo’net. For more information, please contact Adrian Mahoney on 01506 823714 or email: adrian@theprstore.co.uk