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Exeter hospital building rehab garden for patients

Image: Royal Devon Hospitals Charity

Donations & gardening tools needed

Staff at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (RD&E) have embarked on a project to create a special garden for patients undergoing rehabilitation for a range of neurological conditions.

Work at the hospital’s Mardon Neuro-Rehabilitation Centre is already underway and the local community is being asked to help transform the outside space by donating garden tools and equipment.

Sharon Clayton, Clinical Nurse Manager at the purpose-built, 12-bed specialist inpatient unit, said the accessible garden would form an important part of the holistic therapy provided to people with acquired brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and other neurological conditions.

“Gardening and being outside has huge benefits for both mind and body and we see it as an important part of the occupational therapy provided at Mardon House,” said Sharon.

“Being able to spend time outside, whether it’s weeding, sweeping or potting plants, or learning to walk on uneven surfaces and negotiate steps or ramps, can have calming, restorative, and even healing effects. We want this to be a relaxing space for patients and their families.

“Many of our patients are with us for many months, so being able to take part in a leisure activity they would ordinarily do at home would provide a positive boost to their wellbeing and be hugely beneficial to their individual rehabilitation goals.”

The staff and patient-led project is being funded by donations to Royal Devon Hospitals Charity and is expected to take up to five years to complete. The team have already started weeding and trimming back bushes but need tools and equipment, as well as financial donations, to help bring the garden to life.

“It will be a long ongoing process over the next few years and we are desperately in need of equipment such as a wheelbarrow; garden fork and spade; long handle loppers, garden sheers and a block paving weed tool,” added Sharon.

“If anyone would like to donate any of these items, please call me on 01392 404892 or email”

An online fundraising page has also been set up for people wanting to make a financial donation towards the project.

Click here to donate.

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