09 February 2020
Transforming outside space for mental health inpatients in North Somerset
Inpatients at a mental health unit in North Somerset are
benefiting from a new view, thanks to a local artist.
A long stretch of fencing around the garden of Juniper Ward at
the Long Fox Unit, on the grounds of Weston General Hospital, has
been transformed with a beautiful calming mural.
It comes after Kate Simmonds, an Occupational Therapist who
works for Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS
Trust, started a fundraising campaign to improve the outside space,
raising £3,000 to pay for the mural.
Kate said: "We encourage our patients to go outside when
appropriate, so I wanted to create an inviting space with a sense
of calm that could be used as part of a patients' recovery journey.
Some of the people who stay on our ward can be here for a long
time, so to have something more interesting to look at will
hopefully improve the sensory, visual and therapeutic environment
of the space."
The scenic design creates a sense of space and beauty within the
enclosed ward garden and includes aspects of the local area
including the Mendip Hills and the village of Uphill, and painted
trees to blend in with those behind the fence.
It was created by local artist Martin D'Arcy and took around ten
days to complete. He said: "I want to thank Kate and all who
donated to make this dream happen."
Patients on the ward have described the mural as 'beautiful' and
'giving the sensation of space.' Comments include 'I think it's
brilliant actually, better than looking at the wooden fence,
especially as it brings in the trees behind it' and 'It makes me
feel more positive.'
Kate continued: "It's really great to have the mural completed
and to see how the patients have been reacting to it. I'd like to
thank everyone who donated money to pay for the mural as it really
is making a big difference to the time our patients are spending