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Day Hospice 'Good to Grow' Group

Day Hospice patients bloom in 'Good to Grow Group'

Springhill Hospice’s Head Gardener, Nick Dent, has devised an inspiring new activity aimed at bringing the outdoors, indoors, for Day Hospice patients.

Nick’s Good To Grow scheme runs on Tuesday afternoons and encourages patients to get involved with all sort of activities, from planting seeds and creating hanging baskets, to adopting their own pot plants, tending them ready for planting in the garden.

With Nick’s expert guidance and help from Day Hospice nurses, Tricia and Lynn and volunteer David Liddell, patients have learnt what plants to grow, how to take cuttings and how best to pick young plants and tend to them.  Patients have gained enough knowledge with plants to give them the confidence to either plant them at the Hospice, or take them home with them.

“Initially the scheme was to run for 8 weeks but it proved to be both enjoyable and therapeutic, so we’re thinking of extending it” said Day Hospice Nurse Tricia.

Tricia added “The patients involved have different abilities and experiences. We are finding those who are or were keen gardeners, are helping the other patients, passing on their skills and knowledge.  Also, when one patient is unable to attend or has to leave early, the other patients are planting up pots for them in their absence.

“The Good To Grow Group is building bonds between the patients and friendly rivalry too. As the plants are growing there is a bit of friendly competing developing as to whose plants are bigger or healthier.”

The feedback from Day Hospice patients is both encouraging and inspiring;

"A very stimulating experience working with Nick. It enables me to communicate with fellow Day Hospice residents. It distracts me from smoking and in speaking to others allows me to focus solely on gardening."

"I find that the 'gardening experience' is a welcome interlude to the programme of events organised at the Hospice. A credit to the Hospice staff especially the gardener Nick."

"Inspiring session with Nick - takes my mind to a better place!"

Springhill Hospice’s award winning gardens are integral part of the Hospice’s holistic approach to care.  All of Springhill’s patients benefit from being cared for in beautiful surroundings, but since the creation of the vegetable garden, they also have the opportunity to gain useful and therapeutic skills.