Grow to give for Horatio's Garden

Grow to give for Horatio’s Garden

How small acts of kindness can benefit your community and the NHS

Many people are feeling the strain of social distancing, but imagine the impact that the current restrictions are having on patients undergoing months of treatment in NHS Spinal Injury Centres, where the loss of outside contact with friends and relatives can have a dramatic effect on their mental and physical rehabilitation.

For this reason, national charity Horatio’s Garden, has launched the Grow to Give campaign which is encouraging people to engage in small acts of kindness in exchange for a donation to the Charity. Horatio’s Garden is dedicated to improving the lives of everyone affected by spinal injury, through the creation of nurturing and beautiful gardens in the heart of NHS spinal injury Centres.

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Horatio’s Garden is hoping people will take part in the campaign by growing plants, flowers or vegetables or even making preserves. These small gifts can then be delivered to the doorsteps of people in their local community, together with a card asking if they would be prepared to donate to the Charity as a little ‘thank you’.

The thoughtful idea will help to provide a neighbourly service of fresh, homegrown produce, whilst simultaneously supporting the physical and mental health of those currently spending time at home.

The best part is that anyone can join in! It doesn’t matter if they’re a green fingered expert or a horticultural novice – whatever they grow, be that lettuces or flowers, will bring joy to them and to whoever they donate their homegrown gift to.

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Supporting the campaign are award-winning garden designers Cleve West, James Alexander-Sinclair, Joe Swift and Bunny Guinness, who have all created Horatio’s Gardens in Spinal Injury Centres around the UK, plus Tom Stuart-Smith and Sarah Price, who are designing the next two gardens planned for this year. In addition, the Charity’s head gardeners, volunteers and ambassadors are all busy sowing seeds and growing to give. Other organisations supporting Grow to Give, include Candide the gardening App who are championing the campaign to their 300,000 online community.

‘Grow to Give’ is also a brilliant way to keep children entertained whilst school’s out, providing a great hands-on learning opportunity with delicious and rewarding outcomes. Whether you’ve got a garden, balcony, window box, or yoghurt pot, everyone can have a little fun and give back, over the coming months.

Horatio’s Garden would ordinarily be hosting a variety of lively garden activities for patients and their loved ones throughout the spring and summer, as well hosting numerous events to raise money for new gardens. However, as a result of the current cancellation of social gathering events, the Charity is now facing a £240,000 drop in its annual income.

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Commenting, Horatio Garden’s Founder Olivia Chapple said, “Grow to Give is a simple and fun way people can help. Whilst we’re all facing difficult times, people with spinal injuries are amongst the most vulnerable in our society and many of them are currently facing this crisis alone in hospital. Horatio’s Garden has long been a beautiful sanctuary for patients, but now it is more of a lifeline than ever. The charity needs help to ensure that they can continue to offer the safety and tranquility of nature to those who need it most. We hope the Campaign will not only provide much needed donations but that the deliveries of home grown produce to neighbours, will spread some cheer across local communities.”

To get involved with Grow to Give, simply start growing! You can let the charity know you’re taking part by:

• Emailing [email protected]

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• Calling 01722 326834

• Tagging @horatiosgarden or #growtogive on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

• Donations can be provided by Text GARDEN to 70450 to donate £5 (Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message)

And if you’re wondering where to start, you can also find a handy pack of top tips, materials and expert advice on their website

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Steve Ott
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