16 October 2019
Winners announced in gardening for mental health competition
Gardens and outside spaces at sites across Avon and Wiltshire
Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust have been transformed
into havens of tranquillity, thanks to staff, patients and carers
taking part in the Trust's annual 'AWP in Bloom' competition.
Throughout the summer months 11 teams from across the Trust have
been digging, planting, pruning and painting as they took part in
the competition, which aims to engage patients, families, carers,
staff and local communities in gardening activities to enhance
outside spaces across the Trust's estate.
The competition is sponsored by the Trust's official charity
Headlight, which provides funding for projects and equipment to
enhance the care provided by the Trust.
Headlight Fundraising Manager, Tia Shortall, said: "This year's
competition has seen some remarkable entries with teams really
getting behind the initiative. As well as transforming the outside
spaces, one team created a working kitchen garden producing
vegetable boxes which were sold to families and carers and the
money re-invested into the garden."
Other creations included the integration of a reminiscence shed
for dementia patients into a seaside themed garden, using tyres as
planters in an area with limited outside space and transforming a
neglected courtyard with a mural.
One patient, who took part in the competition, said: "Being able
to sit in the garden and potter around doing tasks during the
gardening group made a huge difference to me and meant that my stay
in hospital was even better."
Sophie Couzens, Ward Manager at Aspen Ward at Callington Road
Hospital in Bristol, said: "This has been such a rewarding project.
The feedback from staff, patients, carers and visitors has been
amazing and it has really assisted to support patients and improve
their motivation and mental well-being. I'd particularly like to
thank the occupational therapists for their input, support and hard
work to make this project happen. It has been a really positive
The winners of the competition were:
Category: Best transformation
Winner: Aspen Ward at Callington Road Hospital in Bristol
Highly commended: Hodson Ward at Sandalwood Court in Swindon
Category: Best engagement
Winner: Dune and Cove wards at the Long Fox Unit,
Highly commended: Elmham Way Unit, Weston-super-Mare
Category: Best established garden
Winner: Amblescroft South Ward, Fountain Way Hospital,
Category: Innovative Spaces:
Winner: Speedwell Centre, Bristol, and Applewood Ward, Sandalwood
Each of the winning gardens will receive a plaque to display and
certificates for all those involved.
Headlight Mental Health Charity is the registered charity of
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust. The
charity works alongside AWP to enhance care and support recovery
for AWP patients. Headquartered in Bath, the charity covers
Wiltshire, Swindon, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East
Somerset, Bristol and North Somerset. To find out more go to