Last week, Ashgate Hospicecare officially opened the doors to their brand new dementia friendly courtyard and garden room thanks to the amazing generosity of the Westfield Health Charitable Trust.
The new garden room provides a homely sanctuary to patients and their families who want a non-clinical, modern space to spend precious time together. The garden room is also a gateway to a welcoming outdoor space which has been designed to be dementia friendly. There are sensory plants, a tranquil water feature, comfortable seating and a mural that all contribute to creating a peaceful outdoor space.
Graham Moore, Chairman of the Westfield Health Charitable Trust, said: “As a longstanding supporter of Ashgate Hospicecare we are delighted to have funded the new courtyard and garden room, which I had the privilege of officially opening. This is an amazing space where patients and their families can spend quality time together, which I’m sure will have a positive impact on the wellbeing of patients.”
The transformed area will significantly improve the Hospice experience for all of our patients and their families, particularly for those with cognitive difficulties, as well as providing families with a place to take loved ones that is easily accessible but close by to the nurses which is important for continuity of care.
John Beeston, a patient in Ashgate Hospicecare’s Inpatient Unit, said: “This was my first time seeing the courtyard and I think it looks amazing. It reminds me a lot of being at home because we get a lot of sparrows in our garden, just like those painted on the mural. It’s wonderful to have the bird feeders too because hopefully they will attract lots of birds into the courtyard.
The garden room is a wonderful addition too! It’s lovely because it can be used all year round and you can open up the bi-folding doors and feel like you’re outside even if you’re inside.”
Richard Gosling, who is also in Ashgate Hospicecare’s Inpatient Unit, said: “I think that the courtyard is super! It’s just what we wanted. I spend a lot of time in the gardens at the Hospice, so having this extra outside space is great.”
Local businesses also added to this special addition to the Hospice. Without the support of Gary Fletcher Surfacing, John Plant MBE, Tesco’s Bags of Help, K B Rouse, Peter Barber, Walton Landscapes, TG Beighton, Hospice garden volunteers, Valley Reclamation, the DEEP Group, the Hospice Dementia Champions and CMC Aluminium this project wouldn’t have been possible.
Julie Foster, Ashgate Hospicecare Matron said: “We are so grateful to the Westfield Health Charitable Trust and everyone else involved who made this project possible. We have known for a long time that the environment has a huge impact on patient wellbeing, this new space is a home from home, a space for patients to relax, to celebrate with loved ones, to simply enjoy when it matters most.”
The Hospice was awarded ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission in 2015 for our care, the garden room and courtyard are now outstanding spaces to match this care and have inspired the Hospice to make improvements to other areas on the Inpatient Unit.