A SPECIAL event was held to officially launch two new gardens at Salisbury District Hospital on Tuesday.

Funded by the hospital’s charity the Stars Appeal, the gardens will be located next to one another on Level 2 of the main hospital building.

One garden will be used to provide therapy to older and stroke patients, and will be known as ‘The Stars Appeal Therapy Garden’. The other will be known as ‘Rod’s Place’, in tribute to Rod Lennox-Gordon – a nurse on Farley Stroke Unit who died last year, and will provide a tranquil space for relatives and patients.

The Stars Appeal gardens will both formally open at the hospital this summer.

The idea for the gardens came from the hospital’s lead end of life care nurse Hannah McClean.

As well as raising the £16,000 required to fund the gardens, she is also playing a leading role in helping to find funds needed to maintain them.

Hannah said: “There is a growing need for families of extremely sick patients to have an area away from the bedside that can be used as a space to sit quietly and reflect. We also want a place close enough to the main hospital to make it accessible to patients on the hospital’s wards who often have little or no access to the outside world during their hospital stay. Just as important is the need for staff to have supportive areas to take time out away from their work environment and the pressures of their work. The new gardens will provide all of this along with a specially designed and safe space where the hospital’s therapy teams can work with patients undergoing physical rehabilitation as well as those living with dementia.

“I’d like to thank everyone who is supporting this project and making these important new gardens possible.”

Lord Pembroke, president of the Stars Appeal said: “We are delighted to be working with the hospital’s end of life care team to create these beautiful gardens that will provide peaceful, therapeutic spaces in the heart of our hospital for thousands of local people in times of need. “This is just one of the many life changing projects we are looking to fund this year and I would like to thank everyone who supports the charity for making important new facilities, like these inspiring gardens, possible.”

The launch event was attended by dementia campaigner Tommy Whitelaw, who earlier in the day gave a series of talks to hospital staff about his experience of caring for his mother, who had vascular dementia, and the many other carers he met through this journey.