From hospital beds to flowerbeds
17 March 2015
The Earls Hall Junior School Green Team, made up of children aged 8-11, and children from the hospital’s Ladybird Nursery lent the Southend Hospital gardener, Tony Haggar, some helping green fingers recently, planting 900 bluebell bulbs in just 90 minutes.
It's part of the Bluebell Wood project which heralds the
beginning of a programme to transform the Trust's green spaces into
healing spaces; encouraging an enjoyment of nature, an awareness of
the environment and seasons, and an active lifestyle.
Caroline Hang Hong, who is coordinating the project for the
hospital, said: "Improving the quality of our green spaces, and
involving volunteers in the process, will enrich the lives of
patients, staff and the local community."
The bulbs were planted in a patch of recently cleared scrubland
at the front of the hospital grounds to transform it into a sea of
blue each spring for years to come and the school and nursery
children couldn't wait to get stuck in.
Sharon Neal, a teacher from Earls Hall, in Westcliff, who
attended with her pupils, commented: "The children were very
motivated in planting the bulbs and are eager to see if the bulbs
bloom this year. They realise that their handiwork today will bloom
every year and in twenty years' time they might be saying to their
children 'I helped to plant those bluebells' .Time spent at the
hospital has also encouraged the children to create green spaces at
school which will encourage wildlife."
The Bluebell Wood is the first of a number of projects intended
to improve patient experience and health outcomes through improved
green spaces. Other projects include a sensory garden for children
and a trim trail. Funding is currently being sought for these