Nature: Sheffield NHS team boost biodiversity and mental wellbeing by growing their own garden

A team of NHS staff and patients have transformed the grounds of their service into a ‘green oasis’ to boost biodiversity and mental wellbeing.

Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 11:29 am

The group from Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, with help from Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, has been turning part of their recovery site at the East Glade Centre in Frecheville into a vibrant garden over the past nine months.

They have planted shrubs, flowers and trees with plans to add a wildflower meadow, fruit orchard and bird boxes soon.

Victoria Catton, occupational therapist at East Glade, said: “Our aim has always been to improve the habitat and increase biodiversity at East Glade.

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A team of NHS staff and patients have transformed the grounds of their service into a ‘green oasis’ to boost biodiversity and mental wellbeing. The group from Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, with help from Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, has been turning part of their recovery site at the East Glade Centre in Frecheville into a vibrant garden over the past nine months.

“As mental health professionals we know how therapeutic beautiful green spaces are for service users and our staff who work here.

“It’s been fantastic to include our service users in the work as it gives them a stake in the site alongside access to the therapeutic benefits of nature.

“We had the land at East Glade so the team has just pulled together and have really gone for it. We’ve put in flower beds to attract insects, as well as trees and shrubs. NHS Forest is donating cherry and crabapple trees and we have wildflowers and bird boxes on the way.”

The Trust said research has shown green spaces are good for mental and physical wellbeing, providing psychological relaxation and alleviating stress.

A team of NHS staff and patients have transformed the grounds of their service into a ‘green oasis’ to boost biodiversity and mental wellbeing. The group from Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, with help from Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, has been turning part of their recovery site at the East Glade Centre in Frecheville into a vibrant garden over the past nine months.

Megan Carroll, nature recovery community engagement officer at Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, said: “It’s been wonderful to see SHSC taking action for nature at East Glade. It’s been great to work with the occupational therapy team and service users to plant trees, develop pollinator-friendly flower beds and explore the possibilities of looking after the site in a wildlife-friendly way, such as mowing the lawns less often.

“As well as the incredible health benefits, initiatives such as this play a part in helping to tackle the recently declared nature emergency. I’m looking forward to seeing the benefits for people and wildlife as the seasons progress.”

The project ties in with SHSC’s Green Plan, which is due to be launched soon, which will set out how it will reduce its carbon footprint to meet net zero by 2030.