Beach party celebrates official opening of new garden at Cygnet Hospital Wyke

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On 10th August 2016 Cygnet Hospital Wyke hosted a fun beach-themed party to celebrate the opening of the new, improved garden at the hospital. Staff and service users were encouraged to dress in summer wear for the day’s event and a former service user was invited back to give a speech and cut the ribbon.

The kitchen staff worked hard to prepare and serve a barbecue lunch for everyone. This took place in the hospital’s central courtyard, summer music was played during this time to create a party atmosphere. Staff and service users used this time to integrate and socialise together.

Playing that old favourite - Hook a Duck
Playing that old favourite – Hook a Duck

Stalls had been organised and set up by the therapy team to assist with raising money for selfharmUk, Cygnet Health Care’s nominated charity fpr 2016. These included a tombola, hook a duck, cake stall and sand straw game. Prizes and cakes were donated by staff and service users assisted with some of the baking.

Ian and Adam taking one for the team
Ian and Adam taking one for the team

The highlight of the event was the wet sponge throwing. Staff members Ian, Adam and Danny very gamely allowed themselves to be pelted with wet sponges. It was all in a good cause and they helped raise a total of £214 for selfharmUK. All in all the event was a great success and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Hospital manager Richard Williams particularly enjoyed the wet sponge throwing
Hospital manager Richard Williams particularly enjoyed the wet sponge throwing

The new garden is the result of a gardening project set up by the Occupational Therapy team, in collaboration with the service users on Branwell Ward, to promote engagement and physical health. The service users worked hard to design, plan and create a tranquil and relaxing space for everyone to use. During the planning process service users decided on a beach theme, the work then began by starting to clear the area.

The garden before the project started
The garden before the project started

A number of sessions were used in order to prepare the area by excavating all the ground and recycling the old bark to fill up the planters and allow them to be painted. In order to try and be eco-friendly the team re-used materials within the hospital. The hospital’s maintenance team were regularly on hand to to provide advice and support.

The new garden
The new garden

Other members of the hospital’s staff also became involved in the project. The hospital’s art therapist helped to produce a mosaic octopus as an ongoing art project to go on the sea themed fence. Meanwhile the clinical manager donated props such as life buoys, a fishing net, a flag for the ship and a seagull to bring authenticity to the area.

Service users really took pride throughout the project and were enthusiastic whilst being involved in the renovations. Comments were made throughout the programme of work from both service users and staff such as “It’s been good to help.” “I’ve enjoyed the exercise and really felt like I’ve worked out.” “It feels like I’m in a different place, It’s really peaceful now out here.” “It’s been made lovely.” “It’s made such a difference to the hospital; I can’t believe how different it looks.” “It’s fantastic!” “What a refreshing change.” “It’s such a relaxing atmosphere for the patient’s to go and chill out, off the ward area.”

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