New Blossom Children’s Ward Garden a welcome retreat for families

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The photo shows a variety of people standing in the new garden at Blossom Children's Ward
1. The Lord Mayor, Alderman Margaret Tinsley at the official opening of Blossom Children’s Ward Garden with representatives from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Portadown Wellness Centre, Seagoe Youth Group and Craigavon Area Hospital staff.

The garden at Blossom Children’s Ward, Craigavon Area Hospital has had a wonderful makeover, transforming the area into a safe, calming retreat for families spending time on the ward.

This Social Action Project took place over the summer and saw young people weeding flower beds, painting fences, laying bark, planting shrubs, plants and trees and staining garden furniture – creating a peaceful, quiet haven where families can take time out of the hospital and catch their breath.

The project created a unique opportunity for young people to work on something that will make a positive impact on others in the community, while also acting as a diversionary activity. The programme also provided participants with an insight into horticulture and helped develop some new skills in this field.

“It was an absolute honour to help officially open the new garden at Blossom Children’s Ward and to see the transformation that has taken place,” commented the Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Alderman Margaret Tinsley.

“Being in hospital with a child is such a stressful and worrying time, so to have a place where both the children and their relatives can take time out, gather their thoughts and have some fresh air within natural surroundings is wonderful and will be so beneficial, both physically and mentally.”

This project was led by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, funded through The Executive Office District Council’s Good Relations Programme as part of the ‘Together: Building a United Community’ (T:BUC) Strategy and in partnership with Portadown Wellness Centre and Seagoe Youth Group.

“The team at Portadown Wellness Centre were delighted to support this project and to help develop and create an amazing gardening and leisure space beside the Blossom unit of Craigavon Area Hospital,” said Alan McDowell, Founder of the Centre. “We really enjoyed working as part of this team to deliver a genuine benefit to the whole community.”

Staff on the Blossom Children’s Ward are thrilled with the results of project. Deputy Ward Sister Nicola Ferguson said, “We are so grateful to the council and all involved for taking on this project. They have made such lovely changes to what used to be an average garden space to somewhere we now want to ensure all our patients see and experience.”

The Lord Mayor with a group of people standing in the new garden at Blossom Children's Ward.
The Lord Mayor, Alderman Margaret Tinsley at the official opening of Blossom Children’s Ward Garden with representatives from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Portadown Wellness Centre, Seagoe Youth Group and Craigavon Area Hospital staff.
Staff from Blossom Children's Ward sitting in the new garden
Staff from Blossom Children’s Ward.
The Lord Mayor looking at the painted stones in the garden with three young people.
Lord Mayor, Alderman Margaret Tinsley with young people from Seagoe Youth Group who spent time during the summer transforming the garden.
A group of people standing in the new garden.
Timothy Conn, Good Relations Support Officer, Emma Casey, Community Development Officer, Lord Mayor, Alderman Margaret Tinsley, Seamus McCrory, Head of Community Development, Alan McDowell from Portadown Wellness Centre and Linzi Hughes, Sister on Blossom Children’s Ward.