Green fingered volunteer, Jim Hansen, has helped to brighten up the day of patients receiving treatment at CoBH by turning a previously overgrown outdoor space into a beautiful garden. As a result of the new building works, Day Care, which allow patients to meet and speak to other people going through similar experiences, as well as giving them access to various therapies, has been relocated to the Alan Gardner Unit. This area had previously been empty and the associated garden had become overgrown and untidy.
Jim, who spends around 16 hours a week gardening as a volunteer at the hospice, saw the potential in the space and made it his mission to create a garden that could be enjoyed by the patients. With the help of fellow volunteer, Mick Bevan, Jim cut back the overgrown bushes, cleaned the patio and path, created flower beds and put pots full of flowering plants on the patio. Patients have already commented on the transformation and Jim, 75, is looking forward to the summer, when they will be able to spend more time in the garden.
Jim says he is really happy with the way the garden has turned out and is looking forward to seeing all of the plants in bloom. “The staff and patients have been really nice and seem to really appreciate the work we have done and I think they’ll really get the benefit later in the year, when it’s warm enough for them to sit out in the garden more often. I really enjoy gardening. It’s something I used to do with my dad when I was a kid and I’ve just done it ever since. I first started volunteering at the hospice after my wife had been a patient there. That was in 2003 and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Sarah McGaughey, clinical matron at the Countess of Brecknock Hospice, said: “The garden looks amazing and on behalf of all of the patients and staff who are enjoying it already, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Jim and Mick. Jim does a fantastic job of making sure that all of the outdoor areas look fantastic for our patients, the whole year round. Not only does he spend many hours tending to the plants each week, he even pays for the soil and flowers.”
The Countess of Brecknock Hospice Trust Charity has a duty of care towards its staff and those we come into contact with. All actions are based on protecting our vulnerable group of patients, both in and out of the hospice, our staff, NHS colleagues and volunteers as well as reducing footfall within the hospice itself, to lower the risk of infection spreading.
Hampshire Hospitals NHS Trust, including the Hospice, are following government guidelines and NHS practices. The Hospice will obviously continue to operate 24/7 however as the outbreak continues, procedures will be constantly reviewed.