Green spaces

Green spaces provide patients, staff and the wider community with the opportunity to get outdoors and take part in activities that help our natural environment – from beach cleans and tree planting, to nature walks and restoring habitats.

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Biodiversity at Freeman Hospital

Biodiversity at Freeman Hospital (878.45kB)

Children’s Garden – RVI

The outdoor spaces around hospitals are essential for staff, patients and visitors. Not only do they provide pleasant environments to look at and enjoy, but they are also highly beneficial for mental and physical wellbeing.

There is a growing body of evidence to show that access to green outdoor spaces reduces stress, improves mental health and also help to keep people active, reducing the need for pain medication.

So, why did we decide to improve the Children’s Outpatient play area? A young patient originally started this idea with a letter to the sustainability team, about improvements we could make around the hospital including making a place to play and grow. This idea clearly demonstrated a need and want for an improved play area, which has blossomed into the Children’s Garden project.

Currently, when you visit the Children’s Outpatient playground you will see very dated play equipment, which is not accessible to all children – something which was highlight multiple times throughout the process has been the need for the new design to include play for all children and families.

So, for a project which involves change to have the greatest chance of success, it is of the highest importance to engage with the stakeholders – the children, the families, play services, practitioners and nurses to ensure they all have a sense of ownership of the project.

How did we do this? Well, we ran a competition for the children to design their dream garden and ran a youth forum meeting. This allowed us to access the wants and needs from the people who would be using the area. We also had meeting with play services and practitioners to ensure all ideas were taken into consideration.

Where are we now? The competition has ended and the winners were selected and attending a prize giving ceremony. They were given prizes and got to attend a fun afternoon of creative activities, with a picnic lunch!

All the information we gathered from the engagement has been collected and has been provided to the architect along with the children’s designs. They will now begin designing the new area and finally work will begin!

All the time keeping in mind the final goal of bringing the children’s ideas to life to provide an accessible, green area for the children and families visiting the Children’s Outpatients.

Nature Connect Walks

Read Sally’s blog!

Our Nature Ranger Sally is hosting weekly Nature Connect Walks leaving the RVI at 5 o’ clock on Mondays and from Freeman at 12 o’clock on Wednesdays, plus one monthly Saturday walk.

Join Sally on these expert guided walks in nature, which include bird walks, wildflower walks, and waterfall lunches. They are a lovely opportunity to relax in nature, rest and re-set.

More information and the schedule for May and June is here

Find out more about the Trust’s Nature Connect programme