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A deep-rooted friendship grown through gardening – Girl Guides develop wellbeing garden

Solent NHS Trust has celebrated a four-year friendship with Girl Guides from Southampton communities, having worked together to create a wellbeing garden in the grounds of the Western Community Hospital.

Solent’s Chief of Nursing and Allied Health Professionals, Angela Anderson, joined the 3rd Test Guide group of Southampton, to thank them for their green-fingered support which started at the beginning of the pandemic and recognises the importance of outdoor green spaces for everyone’s physical and mental wellbeing.

Angela said: “It has been lovely to build this relationship with these Girl Guides and to see how the wellbeing garden has flourished in that time too. I really enjoyed helping the girls this week plant a bunch of bright, springtime flowers which will be appreciated by patients, visitors and members of staff.”

Soph Strickland, Guide Leader for 3rd Test Guide group, adds: “It’s great being back with the Guides again, to plant our latest design, and this year we chose to use our promise badge as the centre piece. We then added the colours of the rainbow around it.

“We hope that it will provide a colour display, to both staff and patients. Part of the Guide promise is to serve the community and this ongoing project just highlights this. The relationship has grown over the years between the two organisations, and we were lucky enough to have someone from the 350+ team come and join us last term where we meet to talk to the girls about different careers in the NHS.”

Angela was joined by fellow Solent employee, Sallyann Smith, who is a Rainbow Leader in her spare time.

The tranquil, green area is a really valued addition to the hospital site, which is going through a major transformation, with the South of England Rehabilitation Centre set to open this autumn. The gardens, which were generously funded by NHS Charities Together, will continue to be tended to and enjoyed by many.

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