Community support is being sought to help make a charity appeal to create a garden for Walsall stroke rehabilitation patients take root and grow.
Working alongside the Stroke Rehabilitation Unit at Hollybank House in Willenhall, Walsall Healthcare’s Well Wishers charity and the borough’s Mayor hope to raise around £20,000 for the project.
The appeal aims to transform the grounds to include a potting area, sensory spot and seating area for stroke rehabilitation patients, their visitors and staff to use.
Georgie Westley, Fundraising Manager explained that, pre-COVID-19 pandemic, Well Wishers asked Walsall residents to choose a charity appeal they would like to see take shape. They opted for stroke rehabilitation and were particularly keen to support something that would further enhance patients’ recovery.
“Our rehab colleagues told us that a garden would be really beneficial because not only does it encourage upper and lower limb therapy but it will aid with patients and their families’ sense of mental health and wellbeing, to be able to sit in the fresh air and experience a change of surroundings,” she said.
“Add to this a sensory area and a seating area and it’s not hard to imagine the lovely garden we could create. This is a project that has the community at its heart and we want to get local schools, businesses and groups involved. We have a couple of businesses on board already. Well Wishers is one of the Mayor of Walsall’s chosen charities this year and she has already told us how important she thinks this rehabilitation is.”
Alison Stone, Clinical lead, added: “A stroke can be devastating for patients and their families so rehabilitation is vitally important. Gardening will be beneficial in all aspects of a patient’s recovery, from physio, occupational therapy, speech and language and psychology. The interaction with other patients I am sure will boost patient confidence and give a sense of normality, as gardening is a hobby of many of our patients prior to experiencing a stroke. We have lovely grounds to be able to support the project and look forward to it progressing!
Staff at Hollybank House will be working with patients and their families to shape the project and ensure it is a true community effort.
Charlie Eggenton is one local business owner who is supporting the project.
Charlie, who owns CB Beauty Group in Rushall, said: “I had a friend who had a stroke very recently so it is something I can really relate to. This can affect people of all ages which many don’t realise.
“We have raised just over £300 so far, setting ourselves a target of £1,500, and we’re proud to be involved with Well Wishers after seeing how the charity has been so supportive to the health and wellbeing of NHS staff over time. It’s such a nice charity to work with.”
On Tuesday 2 August an open day is being held at Hollybank House, attended by the Mayor Councillor Rose Martin, for people to look at the plans and get involved. And local artist Jean Walker will be unveiling the oil painting she has done to capture this fundraising vision. The event will run between 1pm and 3pm.