Sapphire gardens is a space The Therapeutic Education Department ( TED ) staff have developed and use for therapeutic sessions across the women’s services. It is utilised for individual sessions (patients in segregation/ harder to reach patients) and groups sessions. It aims to teach life skills, spark creativity, encourages team working and problem solving and encourages physical activity.
The patients have worked with staff to re-design the space and it has been a very rewarding project, becoming a space that patients derive meaning from and look forward to attending. It enables TED staff to build upon the therapeutic relationship with patients and offer meaningful activity.
It also gives staff the opportunity to learn new, transferable skills. Staff have worked with patients to re-design the Sapphire Gardens making it practical and easy to maintain. Patients identify Sapphire Gardens as a safe space they can attend and focus their attention on gardening and forget anxieties. This has been particularly important during the covid-19 outbreak, when other areas of DRC have been closed and off ward activity has been limited.
It has given the patients chance to get off the ward and focus on productivity and identify new projects.
Here is some of our patient feedback:
“I enjoy working outdoors, watering and the company.”
“Coming to Sapphire Gardens makes me feel comfortable and strong in myself because I am doing something worthwhile. Soon as I am in the polytunnels I feel a sense of tranquillity washing over me. I like coming over with the other girls and being social, it feels great being part of a team.
“Sapphire Gardens is a wonderful place to be. It makes me feel at peace. I like coming over with the girls. I feel I don’t have to worry about anything when I’m here off the wards and it helps with my anxieties. The staff are wonderful.”
“As a newly qualified OT in the women’s services, sapphire gardens have been a great platform to begin to develop therapeutic relationships with patients. It has helped patients identify and take part in meaningful activities and work towards goals and have an opportunity to develop new occupational interests. Spending time with the patients in the gardens as they have worked to re-design the space has been a rewarding experience. “
“During Covid I have had the opportunity to work with the DRC team in Sapphire Gardens. Sapphire gardens have provided a wonderful opportunity for staff and patients to work together. Seeing patients who have previously struggled with motivation and engagement thriving in the environment is truly inspiring. The gardens are accessible to all and promote a safe, therapeutic and inclusive environment. A brilliant example of recovery and wellbeing principles in practice.”