Westmorland General Hospital Project
An exciting new development in 2014, the second year of the Community Roots Project, we have begun work at the Morecambe Bay Hospital Trust Westmorland Site.
We have been planning and developing with local young people some of whom are not in education employment or training a previously undeveloped space within a courtyard. Local professionals and organisations have teamed up with youth and adult volunteers from a variety of backgrounds working regularly as a team on a weekly basis in the outside environment. By supporting each other they have gained skills and learnt more about planning, design, joinery and the benefits of horticulture to support healthy living and healthy eating. Staff, patients and visitors can enjoy the outside space where some have adopted a raised allotment bed for their own use developing skills and growing their own fruit and vegetables.
Our charity was invited by nursing staff who were aware of our charity and the service we provided locally for schools, young people and adult volunteers to come and have a look at an internal courtyard at the Westmorland General Hospital Site in Kendal, governed under the Morecombe Bay Health Trust.
After an initial meeting with the estates department manager a partnership agreement was formed for a small team of regular staff and volunteers from the charity would begin to plan and develop the unused and underdeveloped space.
The estates department agreed the courtyard needed some attention for the visitors, patients and staff to enjoy in their break times and during the hospital opening times. After further research at other hospitals and seeking feedback from the hospital community a plan was formed to transform the courtyard into a community space for everyone to enjoy with the potential of staff and wards adopting a raised bed to grow fruit, flowers and vegetables for their own use. Some ward staff agreed they would also use the space for patients to spend some quality time away from the wards.
The charity would also use the space to seek volunteers from the community to come and learn and share skills, work as a team and socialise of a weekly basis. The team created potentially could form part of an outreach group to assist the primary school gardens and allotment plots our charity had created in the local Kendal area over the 13 weeks the schools are shut.
Here are some images of the courtyard in 2013, as it was before we got involved:
And here are some images of the courtyard in 2017:
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