Trust’s gardening projects shortlisted for award

Shed heaven for team who mix horticulture and therapy

Trust’s gardening projects shortlisted for award
17 August 2015




Green-fingered colleagues at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust have been shortlisted for a top award.

Staff have been running a number of gardening projects which aim to improve the health and wellbeing of patients at the Cavell Centre, Peterborough.

Now it has been announced they have been named in the final three in the Psychiatric Team Of The Year: Outstanding Contribution To Sustainability category in the 2015 Royal College of Psychiatrists’ annual awards.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Miguel de Seixas said: “I am delighted for the staff involved including Nora O’Shea, Dave Williamson and Gemma Buttery. The schemes have all proved incredibly beneficial to the recovery of the people we care for and it’s great that these projects are being recognised on a nationwide level.”

The Cavell Centre, at the Edith Cavell Health Campus, Bretton Gate, includes the Oak wards for people with mental health conditions who require in-patient care. As part of their treatment programmes they can also choose to take part in three horticulture schemes.

Occupational therapist Dave Williamson runs a group where patients grow vegetables and herbs at an allotment near the Cavell Centre. CPFT staff and local businesses have donated funds to buy tools, seeds and plants for the allotment. Produce grown on the allotment is cooked on the wards by colleague Gemma Buttery at a lunch group for patients and staff, allowing them to learn new cookery skills and socialise together.

Nora O’Shea, physical activities facilitator, supports patients who want to take part in Greenfingers, a community gardening project which takes place on Monday afternoons in Peterborough. She also helps patients who want to volunteer at the Green Backyard, the urban growing project in Oundle Road.

Dr de Seixas said: “The projects have clear vocational and educational benefits. Anyone who has tended a garden or allotment will know it’s hard work and it can be a great way to exercise. The links between vigorous activity and reduction in anxiety levels are well documented.

“We know from speaking to patients, and to their families and staff on our wards, that those who do take part see their stress levels fall. People who do have mental health concerns can often feel socially isolated, so these activities help tackle that and also teach everyone involved new skills.

“Sustainability is key to these projects and the produce we harvest means we are less reliant on ward funds to pay for the cooking sessions. We also compost any waste and we recycle everything we can. Overall, the messages around exercise and healthcare, coupled with the economic and environmental factors, are very much in line with the values of the NHS.”

CPFT staff have been shortlisted in the Outstanding Contribution To Sustainability category alongside entries from Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. In total, there are 18 categories in the Royal College of Psychiatrists annual awards. The winners will be named at a ceremony in London on Tuesday, November 10.

Pictured above are: Gemma Buttery, Nora O’Shea, Dr Miguel de Seixas and Dave Williamson

ENDS

For more information please contact:

Andy Burrows
Communications Manager
E andy.burrows@cpft.nhs.uk
T 01223 726767

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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