Young people, parents and NHS staff benefitting from transformed space outside children’s ward

Children, young people and their families are benefiting from a fantastic makeover of the outdoor area at Louisa Cary ward, Torbay Hospital, thanks to donations from three caring charities.

Thanks to a grant from NHS Charities Together and generous donations from Torbay Hospital League of Friends and Torbay and South Devon NHS Charity, the decking has been replaced, lighting has been installed and the space is now full of colourful planting.

Louisa Cary ward is an acute paediatric ward at Torbay Hospital that cares for children and young people under the age of 18 requiring inpatient care. The makeover was made possible thanks to a contribution of £10,000 from a £154,000 NHS Charities Together grant along with a £4,000 donation from Torbay Hospital League of Friends and £4,000 from Torbay and South Devon NHS Charity.

Michelle Townsend, ward manager, said: “The decked area outside our ward is our only outside space for our patients and it was in desperate need of a makeover. Having a therapeutic outdoor space where all children, young people and their families can spend time outside really makes a positive difference and improves everyone’s health and wellbeing. We are really grateful to all three charities who made this possible.”

Chris Banks, play specialist, said: “Having a colourful, interactive and welcoming area for our children and young people is already making a big difference and bringing some normality into a hospital stay. We’ve been really thoughtful in our planting to make sure that our flowers and plants not only look amazing but that they also smell great.”

Jon Goodwin, head of grants at NHS Charities Together, said: “We’re thrilled to see the transformation that has taken place to the space outside the Louisa Cary children’s Ward at Torbay Hospital. It’s encouraging to see that the colourful, welcoming and relaxing space is already being used and enjoyed by children and young people staying at the hospital, as well as their parents and hard-working NHS staff who can also benefit from the space. Research has shown how crucial spending time outdoors – especially in green spaces and nature – is to our health and wellbeing, so investing in projects like these really does have a positive and lasting impact.”

Paul Norrish, who led on project management for Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are grateful to NHS Charities Together for helping us to improve a number of areas used by staff. Staff working on a high intensity ward like Louisa Cary often have limited opportunities to take breaks away from the ward. The decking provides them with a place to escape and recharge. The decking area serves not only the seriously ill children on the ward, but also provides a space for staff to enjoy the outdoors, a chance to see the sky and feel a refreshing breeze on the skin.”

Patricia Roberts, president of the Torbay Hospital League of Friends, said: “The League of Friends is delighted to have helped with the completion of the new outdoor decking area for Louisa Cary Ward. This lovely outside area offers a much-needed retreat for both children, parents and staff who often have limited opportunities to enjoy breaks away in the fresh air. We hope that this area will greatly enhance the wellbeing of everyone in Louisa Cary ward”

Rachael Bryett, fundraising and partnerships manager for Torbay and South Devon NHS Charity, said: “We are thrilled that by working in partnership with NHS Charities Together and our Torbay Hospital League of Friends we have been able to create such a beautiful and restful area for our children and young people, their families and our caring and compassionate staff.”

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