13 November 2014

Seaside in the city

SeasideService users and staff on Laurel Ward at Callington Road Hospital in Bristol have created their own mini seaside resort in part of their garden. 

Laurel Ward assesses and treats service users with dementia who are suffering from severe psychological and behaviour symptoms. Occupational Therapist, Sally Trevorrow, got in touch with us last week to talk about a great project they've been working on, to transform part of their garden into the seaside!

It all began with the idea of brightening the garden up by painting the shed like a beach hut and the idea then grew. But this wasn't simply for fun as the area is actually "sensory", giving service users sights, textures and memories to respond to, with happy memories of holidays by the seaside, day trips to Weston, donkey rides on the beach, making sand-castles, ice-cream and more.

Three of the service users were keen to help and carried out the majority of the paint-work over the summer. The whole project was co-ordinated by Kate Croker, Laurel Ward's Activity Co-ordinator with help and support from Occupational Therapy staff as well. Kate was also kindly joined by her husband who helped create the sand and stony beach area. It was a real team effort as one of the service users photographed the work for this article.

Travis Perkins generously donated some sand and stones which has helped with the transformation and a wheelbarrow for patients to keep and use.

To help fund the project staff and families of service users generously supported a cake stall fund raising event earlier this year.Two wives of service users on the ward kindly ran the stall at the Coppice and the event raised a hundred and fifty pounds towards the project.

This can be seen from inside the ward or, when weather is permitting, service users and their families are able to spend time enjoying exploring, experiencing or simply sitting and enjoying their seaside in the city.

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