A team of our patients and staff have gone for gold, taking home a top prize at Southport Flower Show.

The award winning interactive exhibition, themed around wellbeing, was viewed by thousands of visitors, securing the highest award in the Community Garden category.

The successful team of service users and horticultural assistants are part of the Grow Your Own (GYO) project, based in the grounds of our secure mental health inpatient hospital, Guild Lodge. It allows those receiving care, staff and community volunteers to grow flowers, fruit and vegetables to be sold, providing a sense of achievement and self-worth, helping with rehabilitation.

The display, which included an array of flowers, seating and tranquil spaces to encourage people to sit and talk about their wellbeing, as well as take in the elements of the garden, was built in three days by a team of 18 after months of planning and design.

Project Manager Liz Harrison, who leads the GYO project and the display at the show, said:

“It’s been amazing to see the garden grow over the last few months, so many people have been involved from sowing seeds, caring for the plants, preparing fences and making bird feeders ready for the show. 
“I’m so proud of everyone’s achievements, the whole journey has helped service users to grow in confidence and has given them a whole new experience.

Liz continued:

“We had visits from Tracey Rushworth from Love Your Garden , she was very impressed with everyone’s efforts and how we had made the garden look so natural in such a short space of time. 
“Tom Leonard AKA Daisy Desire ‘The Drag Queen Gardener’ also spoke to us about the connection with greenspace and gardening in supporting people with their mental wellbeing.” 

An anonymous patient who worked on the award winning garden, added:

“We all worked hard to get the display finished. 
“It was affirming to get excellent feedback and we are delighted to win the large gold medal. It made all the months of work worthwhile!”

You can get involved in the GYO project by emailing Elizabeth.Harrison@lscft.nhs.uk or calling 07976 631443.