Compost donation helps nurses create sensory garden for ICU patients

A donation of locally made compost had been made to help nurses at RUH Bath take on the task of creating a sensory garden that can be accessed by patients to help improve their recovery.


Sophie Legg, (pictured front centre) who lives in Melksham and works as a staff nurse in the intensive care unit at RUH Bath, together with her colleague Becky Mitchener, have both been working on the garden during their days off.


“I wanted to add a load of compost to the beds as the ground is very hard and lacking in organic matter. I contacted Hills Waste Solutions about a possible donation and was delighted to hear that both Hills and Wiltshire Council were willing to provide what I needed. This is going to make such a difference to the garden and I am thrilled.“


The garden has a paved area with benches and a number of flower pots donated by both members of the public and former patients. There is a neglected bed with a tree surrounded by low brick wall and a second smaller planting bed. Sophie has been planting up the neglected areas and put sunflowers around the semicircle, and teasels, in addition to lavender and dahlias. Some of the theatre staff made pom poms and decorative items to hang in the tree, and there are bird feeders too.


Sophie said: “When patients are in the intensive care unit for a long time, they can get very disorientated, low in mood, and delirious, especially in current times when they cannot have any visitors. Evidence shows that a simple trip outside, to see daylight, when we are beginning to rehabilitate them has great benefit. We can wheel the patients out in their beds, with their ventilators, if necessary.”


“Hills is so pleased to be able to help with this worthy project. We make the compost out of garden waste collected from Wiltshire households, so it is fitting that it will be used by a local nurse to support patients that are receiving life-saving treatment at a local NHS hospital. We wish Sophie all the best with her garden.”


Simon Allen, divisional director at Hills


Cllr Bridget Wayman, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Waste, said: “In the last year, Hills received and managed 37,000 tonnes of Wiltshire residents' garden waste, which produced around 18,500 tonnes of compost, and it’s great that it can make a difference to such a worthy cause. Anyone can purchase compost from one of our household recycling centres, or directly from Hills if a large quantity is required. We hope that this sensory garden can provide a welcome respite for hospital patients and help them to recover.”