STAFF at a Rochford care centre have revamped the gardens of the rehabilitation units, with support from local businesses.
Senior occupational therapist Beverley Kemp joined the team at the Cumberlege Intermediate Care Centre, in March, and has been working with colleagues and a volunteer to brighten up two gardens for patients.
The overgrown shrubs and bamboo have been replaced with bright planters and seating areas.
Patients have also been involved in painting and filling the planters.
The centre cares for adults from across Essex who have had a period of illness or immobility following a stroke or fall. Staff encourage patients to be as independent as possible with the support of therapy and rehabilitation assistants.
Beverley said: “We have patients who walk around the gardens as part of their therapy to strengthen their upper and lower limbs, so the gardens are good for their exercise, as well as their mental health and wellbeing.
“A lot of our patients enjoy gardening. Being outside and involved in the project encourages them to chat, so the social interaction is good.
“That’s what occupational therapy is all about, helping people to get well and interact, and not feel isolated.
“The hardest time for some people is when they go home to an empty house, so I’m trying to set up a volunteer group for them to come back and do arts and crafts.”
A number of local businesses donated materials and plants for the project.
A spokesperson added: “Thank you to Wickes at Rayleigh Weir, Tesco in Prince Avenue, Southend, Summerhill Garden Centre in Billericay, Scott’s of Southend in Rochford, and Morrisons in Western Approaches, Southend.”
Picture: Staff in the revamped garden area.
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