A Breath of Fresh Air

Patients at Stirling Community Hospital are enjoying the outdoors, thanks to a generous donation from the Royal Voluntary Service (formerly known as WRVS).

NHS Forth Valley received the biggest ever single donation from an individual charity – £175,000 – from the Royal Voluntary Service in March 2012.  The money was raised by through a variety of local projects including the proceeds from their cafes in Stirling and Falkirk Community Hospitals.

Some of this funding has been used to create and develop two new gardens in the grounds of Stirling Community Hospital.  One in an inner courtyard area (formerly the children’s play area), which can be accessed by patients in the dementia inpatient ward and a separate landscaped garden has also be developed in an area outside the unit which can be used by patients, staff and visitors to relax in.

The inner courtyard garden contains an adaptable area that can be used for a range of activities and a simple walking route to encourage patients to walk around and interact with the surrounding plants and flowers. Seating and a sheltered area have also been created so patients can enjoy relaxing in the fresh air.

Alex Linkston, Chairman of Forth Valley Royal Hospital, said:

 We cannot thank the Royal Voluntary Service enough for their generous donation which has not only made these gardens possible, but also funded the development of a wide range of projects and initiatives to improve the lives of older people across Forth Valley.”

Avril Magill, NHS Forth Valley’s Clinical Nurse Manager for Community Hospitals, said:

 Many of our patients spend a long time in hospital and being able to get outside and enjoy the fresh air makes a huge difference to their overall health and wellbeing. It’s also enabled our staff and visitors to spend more time outside with patients during breaks and visiting times which is particularly appreciated when the weather is nice.”

Elaine Goldie, Area Manager, Royal Voluntary Service said:

 We are delighted that, through the hard work and enthusiasm of our volunteers, we have been able to contribute to a wide range of developments across Forth Valley which will enrich the lives of many older people. We are especially delighted with these lovely new gardens. The Royal Voluntary Service recognises the difficulties a long stay in hospital can have on older people. The loss of ability to wander in their gardens is just one of the things patients have highlighted that they miss while they are in hospital.”

Pictured are (L-R) patient Duncan Moon, NHSFV Chairman Alex Linkston, patient Archie Ferguson, RVS Area Manager Elaine Goldie, patient James Cairney and Clinical Nurse Manager Avril Magill.