EVERYTHING in a specialist ward garden at Rochdale Infirmary will hopefully be coming up rosy thanks to a generous donation.
Dr Lee Harkness, a senior clinical psychologist, who works in the NHS, has donated £1,700 to the Oasis Unit which is a 10 bed facility for patients who have an acute medical condition that need admission to hospital, but who are also living with dementia.
The unit provides a safe and suitable purpose-built environment to support the patients’ recovery and so is looking to convert an unused space outside the unit to create a safe, calming environment for patients and their families to use.
Lee’s sister Lou is a lead nurse at Rochdale Infirmary and the Oasis Unit cared for their grandmother for two weeks during the summer. Sadly she passed away in September, but Lee wanted to make sure that the staff on the unit knew how much the care they delivered to her meant to him and Lou as a family.
He therefore completed the John O’Groats to Lands End cycle ride with two of his friends which consisted of cycling 948 miles, over nine days. This included 44992 feet of climbing which is the equivalent to climbing Mount Everest one and a half times, and a total of 61 hours on the bike!
Lou Harkness Hudson, lead nurse at Rochdale Infirmary, said: “We are hoping to make the outside space accessible 365 days a year with different zones to accommodate patients during all weathers, and make sure that the garden is alive with seasonal plants, trees and bushes that will stimulate the senses.
“We asked our patients what they would like to see if they had a garden on the unit and they described music walls, bowling lanes, raised planters, heated areas and places to feed the birds.
“The money which has been raised by Lee will give us a great start. We need to raise a lot more to make this space how we want it to be.”
Lee met staff on the Oasis Unit when he came in to hand over the money he had raised. Julie Archibald, Oasis Unit manager, said: “We cannot thank Lee enough for doing this to raise money for our cause. We know that once finished, the garden will provide hours of special times for our patients and their families and for this we are very thankful.”