The revamped outdoor space at Bo’ness Hospital was officially opened on Sunday (June 12) by Bo’ness Fair Queen Ellie Van Der Hoek. The Bo’ness Belles singing group then entertained visitors and patients at a special garden party.
Bo’net – the Bo’ness Networking Group – has been working for the past year to breathe fresh life into the garden.
Madelene Hunt, chair of Bo’net, said: “It’s wonderful to see the garden completed. It was looking so tired a year ago. The transformation of the space has been incredible.
“I hope the refreshed garden will be a real hit with the elderly patients in the hospital, plus staff and visitors.”
The project was made possible thanks to an award of £15,000 from the Life Changes Trust. The Trust was funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.
The revamp delivered: new raised flower beds and hanging baskets; wheelchair-accessible fruit and vegetable beds; new seating for patients and visitors – including wooden arbours; a water fountain to attract birds into the garden; garden wall mosaics, using dementia-friendly colours; vintage advertising signs on repainted, colourful fences; plus storage space for garden tools and furniture.
Maria Ford from Bo’net said: “There’s a mix of patients within Bo’ness Hospital. Some have dementia and others are frail. We worked closely with staff, patients and their families to finalise ideas for the garden transformation.
“We were also fortunate to have some wonderful volunteers to help carry out the work, supported by amazing National Lottery funding. We’d like to thank all the Lottery players who ultimately made this project possible.”
Irene Martin, the clinical nurse manager responsible for Bo’ness Hospital, said: “Bo’net have been hugely enthusiastic about helping the hospital. Their enthusiasm attracted much-needed funding to drive this project forward.
“Sitting in a garden, surrounded by flowers and birdsong, is a wonderful health benefit and gives our patients an opportunity to share precious time with their loved ones.”
Bo’net appointed local social enterprise Sustainable Thinking Scotland (STS), based at the walled garden at nearby Kinneil Estate, to help deliver the garden project.
STS director Sean Kerr said: “The project has been great. We were thrilled to be part of it.”