Colleagues at St Richard’s Hospital have been gifted a beautiful and tranquil ‘Wellbeing Garden’, designed by Chichester based Andy Stedman, as a thank you for their hard work during the pandemic.
The award-winning landscape and garden design studio, Andy Stedman Design, was originally approached by Love Your Hospital last year, the dedicated charity of St Richard’s, Worthing and Southlands hospitals, to create garden designs for the hospital.
However, when external funding to build the garden was unable to be secured, Andy was inspired to arrange for the garden, worth over £200,000, to be built almost entirely for free, through generous donations of time, expertise, goods and services.
Within 48 hours, Andy and his team rounded up local contractors through their network of landscapers and suppliers they use on a regular basis. They also found new local contractors wanting to contribute to this fantastic project through social media.
The garden, which is now open to staff, has an open seated area, secure bike storage and is surrounded by feature planters studded with architectural trees and beds full of colourful perennials. The garden also has one large and two smaller shaded canopies, which were funded by donations to Love Your Hospital’s Hospital Heroes Covid-19 Appeal.
Andy Stedman said: “Being outside in a garden, in nature is without doubt hugely regenerative – lowering feelings of stress and increasing feelings of wellbeing. We are proud and very grateful to have worked together with our local suppliers and contractors to bring this garden to life for staff at St Richard’s hospital and we are excited to see their reaction to the new space! Everyone can benefit from being in an outdoor space, and we hope this garden will inspire people to make the most of their space at home to reap the benefits, whether gardening, relaxing or dining.”
Dr Maggie Davies, Chief Nurse, University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is such an incredible donation, and this wonderful gift has helped to create a lasting space where our staff will have a magnificent and restful place to visit. We are humbled and amazed by the transformation and are sincerely grateful for the generosity and sense of community that has made this possible.”
Steve Crump, Director of Charites for Love Your Hospital said: “This garden transformation fits into a programme of work supported by the charity dedicated to improving outdoor facilities for patients and staff across all our hospitals. It has created a calm and tranquil space for staff at St Richard’s to spend time in away from their working environments. The biggest thank you to Andy Stedman and his team for getting this project back on track and to the many suppliers and contractors who supported it to completion. This truly will be a legacy to staff who went above and beyond for us all during the pandemic and to those who worked from the heart to create it.”
There will be an official opening of the garden on 5 November.