Garden of Light visitors donate tree-mendous amount to hospital garden

ITU garden before
The garden area before work started

Published on 17 January 2020

Christmas visitors to a magical garden installation have donated a tree-mendous £28,600 towards the William Harvey Hospital Intensive Care Unit’s Sensory Garden project.

Opened in early November, the installation at the Garden of Light at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet has welcomed thousands of visitors, delighting them with the immersive, seasonally themed light show, designed by Pixel Artworks.

Visiting the Garden of Light is free of charge, but guests are welcome to make a donation towards the development of the ITU’s Sensory Garden Project.

The Sensory Garden Project has been designed to enhance the experience of patients who are using the Intensive Care Unit, aiming to provide a restful, calm and relaxing oasis within the William Harvey Hospital site.

Natalie Daly, Ward Manager, said: “Phase One of the Sensory Garden was recently completed, and we are very excited about being able to develop the next phase.

“Our patients, and their families often need to be able to access a quiet space, away from the bustle of the ward, and we know that being able to sit within a natural environment can have a positive impact on wellbeing.”

Phase one of the garden was made possible as a result of donations, grants and support from Tesco Bags of Help, Brakes Charitable Trust and Aviva Community Fund, as well as fundraising by ITU staff, and generous donations from the local community.

This has enabled the space to be cleared, with planting beds installed, fragrant herbs and flowers planted, and a door widened, with a ramp installed, allowing patients who are bed-bound to access the garden.

Dee Neligan, Fundraising and Development Officer for East Kent Hospitals Charity said: “We have been overwhelmed by the incredible response from visitors to the Garden of Light at the McArthurGlen Ashford Designer Outlet.

“These donations will enable East Kent Hospitals Charity to fund innovative additions to the ITU Sensory Garden, empowering our patients to make full use of the space. We’d like to thank our local communities for their support with this project.”

The Garden of Light is open until April 2020, with activities such as ‘Sunday Morning Stretch and Strengthen’ Yoga and Pilates, as well as Baby Sensory groups, taking place throughout January. To find out more, visit the McArthurGlen website: https://www.mcarthurglen.com/en/outlets/uk/designer-outlet-ashford/whats-on/

If you would like to make a donation towards the ITU at the William Harvey Hospital, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/ekhc/criticalcarewhh