Chichester College students are designing a peaceful garden at St Richards with a seaside theme for cancer patients

Horticulture students will soon be transforming a plot of land at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester to create a haven for cancer patients.

Thursday, 15th November 2018, 3:22 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th November 2018, 4:26 pm

The students, who are studying at Brinsbury (part of the Chichester College Group), are designing and building a peaceful garden with a seaside theme to improve the surrounding environment for patients who are receiving treatment for cancer.

The garden will be located behind the Ford ward – currently home to a small courtyard and some potted plants.

Steve Millam, a horticulture lecturer at Brinsbury, has championed the project, which was first proposed a year ago.

He said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to really make a difference to a lot of people’s lives – as well as be able to work on a real design project themselves.

“It has taken a little time to raise the money we needed to be able to create something special but thanks to the generosity of those who have donated we will soon be able to start work.

“The students will present their design ideas to the staff at the hospital, and then we’ll be underway.

“It is a small space, but there is a huge amount of potential.

“We want to bring in lots of colour, and create a happy environment for patients and their families to enjoy.”

Claire Ballantyne, haematology clinical nurse specialist for the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are very excited that the courtyard garden area will be revamped by such a talented bunch of garden designers – we can’t wait to see the results.

“It’s really important for our cancer patients, who are well enough, to be able to access the outdoor area.

“They are often in hospital for long periods undergoing chemotherapy treatments and it will be wonderful when they have somewhere appropriate to go to get fresh air.”

Through the efforts of staff, patients and visitors to St Richard’s Hospital, around £500 has been raised for the garden but more would be greatly appreciated.

Steve said: “We know we can do a lot with the money we have been given but it would be great if we could do a little bit more.

“We would welcome any donations – whether that’s plants, vouchers or even cash towards buying materials for the garden.

“In keeping with the seaside theme, we’re also on the lookout for a small wooden boat which could be used in the garden.”

If you would like to get involved, please email [email protected] to find out more.