Chris Franklin in the hospices’ new veggie patch
9-15 October is Hospice Care Week; a chance to celebrate hospice care nationwide, and the incredible work that is being done to make sure everyone can benefit from the very best end of life care.
At Saint Francis Hospice, this year’s theme is We are Hospice Care – putting the spotlight on the staff and volunteers who ensure people receive the best palliative and end-of-life care they deserve.
Patients, staff and visitors to Saint Francis Hospice’s Orange Café are enjoying organic fruit and vegetables grown in the hospice’s newly designed horticultural garden.
Thanks to supporter donations, staff and volunteers have been planting produce from seeds under the guidance of the Head Gardener and a member of staff who is a keen horticulturist.
The fresh produce is then used to make patient meals on the ward as well as in meals for staff and visitors dining in the Orange Café.
“Part of caring for people who are seriously ill is ensuring they receive good nutrition, and we are delighted that our patients are benefiting from the organic produce that is grown in our garden,” said Chris Franklin, Head of Support Services.
“The kale was a fresh ingredient used in a recent Sunday lunch meal for patients.
“Other produce grown in the garden this season, and used by the hospice catering in meals, are green peppers, chillis, tomatoes, beetroot, celery, peas, spring onions, and apples.
“We have also planted wildflowers, and not only are they beautiful to observe, they are also good for people’s well-being.”
The Therapy and Family Support team run a monthly Sensory Group and some of the organic fruit, vegetables and wildflowers are used during the session.
“There is a theme each month and patients have the opportunity to talk through a memory that arises and the therapeutic value of every sense,” said Kathryn Owens, Therapies Manager.
Kathryn said there are huge possibilities for the space to be used in the future by patients, families, staff and volunteers who love horticulture and being outdoors.
The raised beds have been designed to give wheelchair access and enable patients to enjoy the garden in comfort.