Patients and staff at the Bradgate Mental Health Unit in Leicester have showcased their green fingers in an innovative form of mental health recovery.

Their efforts have transformed ward gardens into therapeutic havens, which have been awarded in the 2021 ‘Let’s Get Gardening’ awards at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT).

The ward teams have worked with patients to create relaxing, safe spaces to benefit patients. Each ward had to be creative about showcasing their work as coronavirus meant the awards had to be judged virtually.

The winners were revealed in a video:

The ‘Outstanding Award’ went to Beaumont Ward this year. Cathy Ellis, chair of LPT and awards judge said: “You did a fantastic job in your first time entering this competition. You transformed your concrete jungle into a beautiful garden that everybody could enjoy.

Everybody got involved, from planting seeds to watering the flowers and even the photography group joined in to take some pictures. Your entry included patient testimonials which described the therapeutic impact that it had on each of the individuals who took part. Well done to all of you and congratulations!”

The Let’s Get Gardening Project has been made possible thanks to funding and donations from the Charity of Carlton Hayes and Raising Health, LPT’s charity, to transform the outdoor spaces at the Bradgate Unit. The aim is to bring a touch of home and provide rewarding, therapeutic activities for people with acute mental illness that is over and above their NHS treatment and supports their recovery.

Donations to support the Let’s Get Gardening project can be made via the Raising Health website: