Team effort creates therapeutic garden

A community effort means patients in the ATR rehabilitation ward at Wakari Hospital now have a safe therapeutic outdoor courtyard area to socialise, relax, reflect and engage in therapy sessions.

The project was the idea of Occupational Therapist Mason Anderson. "I realised what a great space the courtyard was and that we weren't using it to its full potential for patient rehabilitation.

"We had already been using raised flower beds to plant and grow food as part of patient treatment, but this was difficult because the area was overgrown and underutilised,” says Mason.

With the help of patients, the area has been cleared, overhanging trees cut back, new plants put in, and new pavers laid to increase ground area. Otago Polytechnic Occupational Therapy students Kelsey Alexander and Ruby Coers, approached Mitre 10 who kindly donated timber and materials for a wheelchair-friendly table as well as plants and an umbrella for shade.

Helen Murphy, Service Manager – Rehabilitation (Dunedin site) says the project has only happened thanks to team work and generous donations from the community.

“Funding for a new BBQ and Gazebo was donated from the Oamaru Stroke Support Group and the recent support from Mitre 10, together with the help of the Men's Shed who have made the table, has enabled us to create this enhanced therapeutic outside space for our patients.”

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