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Official garden opening for children with mental health needs

24 Aug 23

Children supported with their mental health needs will reap the benefits from two newly refurbished gardens which have been officially opened today (Friday 18 August).

Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT) runs the Forest House Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit (CAMHS) at Kingsley Green in Radlett. The Unit’s buildings and gardens support the treatment, therapy, and recovery of young people up to the age of eighteen.

Following an internal refurbishment in 2022, a consultation was held with service users, carers, staff, and dedicated professionals about how the attached green space could be developed to help enhance recovery. Initially the two garden areas consisted of neglected lawn, paving, shrubs, and mature trees.

The gardens are now safe, sustainable and offer sensory and wellbeing support through the planting and garden layout, including stone wall mounted finger labyrinths and courtyard art work produced by the young people.

Sandra Brookes, HPFT Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer, welcomed staff, service users and their families to the grand opening. She said:

“I was delighted to officially open the gardens today. They have been transformed into two distinct zones and I am looking forward to seeing them start to blossom and the benefits our young people will have from them.

“The CAMHS team did a fantastic job maintaining the operational services and caring for the young people throughout the construction period. We are also grateful to the contractors who delivered the project on time and overcame the challenges of the unpredictable British weather!”

One garden adjoins the dining room and offers a tranquil courtyard area for alfresco eating as well as a space for group or one to one time. The second is attached to the high dependency unit (HDU) and offers a safe sanctuary for those who are most vulnerable. Activities in both will include yoga, group artwork and meditation.

Forest House garden

Forest House garden 2

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