Growing together at St Michael’s Hospice

Growing Together is part of the Wellbeing Programme at the Hospice. The programme focuses on using horticulture therapy to get in touch with nature to improve the physical and emotional wellbeing of Hospice patients.

As part of the programme a patient sensory garden in the Hospice gardens has begun to take shape for patients, visitors and the Hospice team to enjoy. Hospice community out-patients have been attending weekly sessions, and have created a verdant herb garden and herb borders, several floral containers and decorative pots of succulents.

The team have also started to create a wildlife pond area, and are working towards producing a garden that contains all the sensory elements of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell, whilst attracting and encouraging local wildlife.

Mat’s story

Mat began attending Wellbeing sessions as an out-patient, for rehabilitation exercise in nature, and has played a key role in developing the Patient-led Sensory Garden. Mat has extensive experience in wilderness survival including running local Scout groups, and has explored his interests in herbs and their uses/properties by completing a course in herbalism. He is a font of knowledge when it comes to identifying different herbs and has many helpful suggestions of which herbs to use to compliment your dinner and which can help with various ailments.

Here’s Mat at a recent pick your own herbs morning advising another gardening project patient Joan, and her husband Alan, on which to choose. Joan and Alan were happy to take home some herb bouquets of their choice and written information about each variety – also authored by Mat. Both Hospice employees and patients enjoyed the fresh herbs, whether they touch them gently on their way in and out of the Hospice to smell a soothing scent, or by picking their own to propagate at home.

If you would like more information on the Wellbeing Programme please call 01424 445177.

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