You are here:>>Volunteers bring garden back to life


Volunteers bring garden back to life

2023-08-03T10:05:12+01:00Thursday 3 August 2023|

Green-fingered volunteers had a blooming good time transforming a courtyard garden at Walsall Manor Hospital.

It was a real team effort as volunteers from Tilbury Douglas and Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust combined to bring a splash of colour and nature to the area off Ward 29.

More than 70 assorted plants, purchased by Tilbury Douglas courtesy of suppliers Popular Tree Landscapes, in association with Trust charity Well Wishers, have now taken pride of place in the garden.

Among the new blooms were rose bushes, slow-growing conifers, honeysuckle and fuschias, plus mint, lavender and curry plants to bring a real sensory feel to the garden.

Tilbury Douglas was the main contractor for the £40m recently-opened Urgent and Emergency Care Centre at Walsall Manor. And for several employees, it was a happy return seeing the building in full use after they had worked on it from the design and early construction phases.

Gianni Ciavardoni, site manager for the project, Becky Phillips, bid and design manager who brought along her daughter Sofia, nine, to help, and contracts manager Richard Myatt joined Bill Ellens, Walsall Healthcare’s long-term volunteer in bringing back some colour to the garden.

Bill, 76, a keen conservationist, said: “I thank Tilbury Douglas for supporting us to encourage staff and patients to reconnect with nature.

“Research has shown that being in nature has health benefits and during challenging times for patients, it’s helpful for them to come here to de-stress. Staff too can come here to unwind and have a bit of peace and tranquility to break up their busy days.”

Tilbury Douglas has also supplied five new wooden planters to house the new plants and bring a touch of nature to staff and patients, adding to the three already there. Additional plants filled the garden in West Wing and the memorial/reflection garden at the front of the hospital that was established during COVID-19 pandemic.

“I worked on this project from when we won the bid until midway through the construction process, developing design and access, plus getting cladding and the internal works signed off and help all different types of stakeholders get what they wanted,” said Becky.

“So it’s been quite a journey and it’s great to see it all finished and it’s good to be back helping create a lovely area for staff and patients.”

Richard was involved in the project from tender to handover, from October 2020 to April 2023. He said: “As main contractors we had to take over the garden to build the new UECC, so we thought it would be a good idea to give back to the community and give back to the Trust by replacing the plants and give a bit of our time to help Bill plant them. It’s been really enjoyable and we hope staff and patients benefit from it.”

Corinne James, Support Services Assistant, who works in the kitchen on Ward 29, was one of the first people to see the transformation. She said: “It used to be a lovely place for staff and patients to come and relax, and looking at the work that’s been done, it will be again.”

Georgie Westley, Fundraising Manager for Well Wishers, said: “Thanks to the efforts of Tilbury Douglas and Bill it’s wonderful to see the garden brought back to its former glory – and more – and we’re sure staff and patients will see this as a lovely place to come to relax.”

This website uses cookies and third-party services to improve your experience. Read more about our privacy policy and how we handle your data. I understand