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Hope springs in winning gardens

20 Oct 2010

Garden of restWest London Mental Health NHS Trust’s (WLMHT) Garden of Rest won first prize in ‘Ealing in Bloom’ in the ‘Commercial Gardens’ category at the awards held last Thursday at Ealing Town Hall. It also took second prize in the ‘Most Improved Garden’ category.

The Garden of Rest has been the product of a partnership between WLMHT and service users as part of the work re-habilitation programme, and all the design and planting was done by service users. The first seeds were sown a little while ago and service users have been tending them carefully so that the garden would be in its prime by late summer. Its opening was recently celebrated with a drumming workshop, also run by WLMHT staff and service users.

One of the Trust’s Chaplains, Derek Barnes, who led the garden re-design project, said: “The Garden was intended as a peaceful place in which people could reflect and restore themselves. We hope that if service users know that it was developed by others in the same situation, experiencing the same challenges and ups and downs as they are, they will also find it a place of hope.”

Rob Brooks, supervisor of the horticulture unit, said: “This is a great achievement for the Trust and all members of the team who were involved with the project. We’ll continue to invest our hard work and energies in this because it’s such a visible reminder of how things can grow and change and blossom for everyone, no matter what problems they’ve faced. The £40 prize vouchers will be put to good use to support the future development of the garden.”

This is one of a number of activities in which the WLMHT work re-hab team is involved, all of which are designed to be a bridge back into the world of work for service users whose mental health problems have led them to leave their jobs. Others include picture framing, car valeting, painting, catering and printing.

Due to a Virgin Media fault, staff working out of Brentford Lodge have lost access to emails and telephones. Services affected are:- Hounslow Primary Care Mental Health Service, Alliance CAMHS, Recovery College, Well-Network and part of Hounslow IAPT