Patient with a red watering can, watering, gardening in the newly funded GARDEN PROGRAM VISION.

Garden Program Vision: A Breath of Fresh Air

Getting out in nature has many benefits, including reducing levels of stress. For patients in hospital, having access to a garden not only improves their mood but has been proven to reduce blood pressure and pain, while also improving recovery time and offering an environment for children and young people to engage with their peers.

Thanks to support from the Good Friday Appeal, patients and families at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) will have access to a dedicated Garden Program, offering a supportive and interactive space for all. This educational and therapeutic initiative will be led by a multidisciplinary team including child life therapists, garden staff, and volunteers and aims to decrease stress for patients and their families, which helps to improve patient recovery. Beth Dun, Manager, Child Life Therapy at the RCH said that garden programs have great benefits for patients and families.

“The Garden Program will be incredibly beneficial for patients at the RCH. As well as giving them a place to breathe in fresh air, it can also be a welcoming space for children and young people from regional areas, who often find the city very intimidating,” said Beth.

“Gardening itself has many benefits for patients, including offering a safe, natural setting to participate in a non-clinical, fun activity that provides a welcome distraction from their illnesses. The use of familiar garden tasks that are simple and diverse offers patients the chance to feel successful as well as tasks that cater to different levels of capacity or energy.”

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