Volunteers support garden project at Breast Care Unit
Published: 18 October 2022
Torbay Hospital’s Breast Care Unit is celebrating the completion of a garden project which has been developed in partnership with people who use the service.
As part of a ten-year programme of works, volunteers supported changes to inside and outside spaces at the Breast Care Unit, to help visitors feel more comfortable and also improve working environments for staff.
Many of the volunteers had experience of using the service and were an integral part of the project choosing colour schemes, furnishings and design features.
Collette Charnley, who has designed a number of gardens across the Trust, created a beautiful garden space which is home to an array of colourful plants and flowers which change with the seasons.
‘Lightcatcher’, a sculpture created and donated by the internationally renowned Suzanne Redstone, sits in the centre of the garden. The one metre granite obelisk, with a marine stainless cylinder, catches and reflects sun rays and colours from the plants and flowers.
Mr Mike Green, Consultant Breast and Oncoplastic Surgeon, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It was always important to our volunteers that we included the garden in our programme of works. We wanted it to be welcoming for visitors as they arrive at the building and for those passing by.
“It is great to see everyone’s hard work come to fruition – it is a wonderful space and this summer the roses were spectacular. Whether you are a visitor or member of staff – waiting for an appointment clinic, meeting friends or taking a break – you can really appreciate its beauty.
“We would like to thank all the volunteers who raised additional funds for the project. They did this in lots of different ways including holding a variety of events from charity balls and garden parties to pub raffles and fire walking. Thanks also goes to The League of Friends, who provided donations to support the project.”
Christina Blarney, volunteer and service user, said: “The garden is somewhere peaceful and tranquil to gather your thoughts and have quiet time with family or friends.”
Sandie Heyworth, Operations Manager, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The garden creation was made possible through generous donations and fundraising, and as such is a symbol of how well respected the Breast Care Unit is to its service users.
“The garden benefits both patients and staff, providing a place to sit and reflect or simply to admire the lovely Lightcatcher sculpture and shrubs while breathing in the beautiful floral scents.”
The ten-year programme of works at the Breast Care Unit has created more clinic rooms, waiting areas and office space, and there has been further investment in digital radiology equipment.