A garden which is used by stroke patients as part of their rehabilitation process has been given a new lease of life thanks to an army of volunteers and generous donations from the local community.

Hannah’s Garden, which is based at Maidstone Hospital, was created seven years ago after former stroke patient Hannah Green raised £5,000 to transform what was then a small grassy area next to the Stroke Unit into a tranquil space so patients had somewhere quiet to either sit and enjoy the sunshine, or have some of their physiotherapy sessions outside.

Over time the area next to the Stroke Unit had become tired looking and in need of some TLC so a it was decided to give it a makeover and bring it back to its former glory with the help of a group of  volunteers.

As well as two new benches, multi-surface paths, plants and landscaping work, the newly renovated garden also includes a bespoke mural of a natural landscape painted by talented artist Luiza Jordan. Luiza, who was asked by Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust if she could help with the project, used a colour scheme of warming corals, relaxing blues and zinging greens to create the mural for patients to enjoy.

The garden was officially opened today (30 September 2020) by the garden’s original creator Hannah Green during a small, socially-distanced opening ceremony. Hannah was accompanied by her husband – other guests included a small number of contractors* who kindly provided gardening and construction services for the garden.

Hannah, who lives in Maidstone said: “I know only too well through my own personal experiences that patients who are undergoing rehabilitation in a hospital setting following a stroke, want to be able to go outside and enjoy the sunshine, have the opportunity for some peace or be able to have some of their physiotherapy sessions outside.

“During my long recovery in hospital it was difficult to get my wheelchair over the rough grass outside the Stroke Unit. I wanted to be able to create a tranquil area away from the ward and put in some beautiful plants to make the area as attractive as possible. Gardening can also be a really useful therapy for stroke patients.

“The stroke garden includes two benches in memory of my mum and dad that were kindly donated by staff at Notcutts Garden Centre, where my mum used to work. This will create an attractive seating area for patients, their family and friends, and staff to enjoy.”

Maria Fabian, Quality and Technical Manager in the Facilities Department at the Trust,  coordinated the work at Maidstone Hospital. She said: “We are delighted with the new garden and are hugely grateful to Hannah, her family, and the many volunteers who gave their time and resources for free to enable this project to come together.

“The garden will provide a calm outside space for our stroke patients to use and will undoubtedly benefit their rehabilitation. Thank you to everyone in the local community who has worked so hard to make this happen!”

 

*Full list of contractors involved in the project:

  • Principal Contractor – JPS Renewable Energy
  • Main Contractor Bed Pad, Pathway & Planter refurbishment – Meridian Contractors
  • Handrails & Platform – Go To Engineering Ltd
  • Landscaping & Planting – Bloomfield Sustainable Solutions Ltd
  • Cleaning – Clearwater Specialist Cleaning & Facility Services
  • Mural & artwork – Luiza Jordan