The family and friends of service users currently receiving care at Guild Lodge in Preston were invited to a garden party to celebrate the role they play in their loved one’s recovery as part of national Carers Week.
Staff at Guild Lodge, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s secure mental health inpatient hospital in Whittingham hosted a party at the Trust’s Grow Your Own site to say thank you to the carers of service users. The day consisted of lots of activities including live music from ‘Rytham Katz’, tours of the area and rounds of funny golf as well as the chance to sample home grown strawberries and other delights provided by the Grow Your Own project.
The Grow Your Own project provides an outdoor area where service users and staff alike can go to get away from the hustle and bustle of the main area and get involved with activities such as planting, looking after hens or simply taking some time out in the tranquillity garden. The project grows its own herbs and vegetables which are then sent to the kitchen at Guild Lodge for use in meals across the hospital as well as sent to the wards where service users can use the produce to prepare their own meals.
Carol Bristow, Service User Involvement Lead for Specialist Services at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
“We were delighted to be able to host the garden party to say thank you to the carers. They play a very important role in their loved one’s recovery as they provide additional support alongside our staff, getting involved in their treatment and care plans so they are able to continue supporting the service users when they are well enough to return to the community.
“The garden party was a huge success and everyone had lots of fun in the sunshine. It was a great opportunity for family and friends to get together with our service users and members of staff and spend quality time together. I can’t underestimate the importance carers have for our service users and on behalf of everyone at the hospital we’d like to say a huge thank you!”
Elizabeth Harrison, Project Lead for the Grown Your Own Project from Red Rose Corporate Services for Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
“The Grow Your Own site has grown from strength to strength and we are delighted to be a part of the day. Service users regularly use the area for a variety of activities; some like to simply come down to relax and others are actively working on the gardens as part of a qualification in horticulture. A special thank you to all the staff, service users and volunteers who worked hard to get the area ready and who helped out throughout the day. It was great for family and friends to come down to enjoy the space and find out how their loved ones use the area as part of their recovery.”
For more information about Carers Week please visit www.carersweek.org.