Publish date: 14 May 2021

We all know the benefits of being outdoors and being more in touch with nature. At Broadmoor Hospital, this can present challenges, but also opportunities. The Occupational Therapy and Vocational Services staff work together to provide enrichment for the patients to support their recovery.  

An allotment space was available for patients to grow fruit and vegetables in the old hospital grounds and work is underway to create a greenhouse and allotment space in the current hospital grounds.  

While this is being built, the staff have been busy finding creative ways to engage the patients with various activities, including, building bee hotels, using off-cuts from the woodcraft work unit; creating bee boosters that will grow plants that attract bees and help with pollination of surrounding plants; creating various artwork from wood and paper, decorating plants pots and furniture; taking on some of the ground maintenance in the central garden which would normally have been carried out by our estates and facilities staff. 

The team has also started working with some of the wards to redesign and eventually landscape their gardens. Additionally, they are creating a garden space in one of the empty ward garden areas which will be decorated by patients’ artwork along with bedding areas to grow fruit and vegetables that they can take back to their ward and cook with.

With the higher risk patients, the team has been taking activities to them on the wards (outreach). These have included seed planting and filling bug houses. Despite some activities were carried out for a short period of time, patients found them meaningful and therapeutic to them.

In addition, there have been plant pots being made in the pottery area and the print room has been creating the labels for the bee boosters. So all areas of vocational services have been used with the support from occupational therapists and allied health professionals.