Wharton support Stratford-upon-Avon's first-ever edible garden of wellbeing

Wharton support Stratford-upon-Avon's first-ever edible garden of wellbeing

Over 60 corporate and community volunteers will converge at Stratford Upon Avon hospital for one day to help create the town’s first-ever edible garden of wellbeing. 

The project is being masterminded by local charity The Forest of Hearts, which is working in collaboration with the NHS South Warwickshire Foundation Trust and supported by the Garden’s Patron and actor, David Bradley. 

Thanks to the overwhelming support of local businesses including BAM Construction, Wharton Natural Infrastructure Consultants Ltd , Benchmark Grounds Maintenance, The Farm and so many more, the charity and the NHS have been able to create a garden of large raised beds outside the new Cancer and Eye treatment units. 

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Once complete, the garden will deliver a sustainable and productive community edible garden, which it is hoped will improve the wellbeing of hospital staff, patients and visitors, and also become an essential place for isolated people in the community to meet and work together.  

The food grown in the garden will supply the Hospital’s new Wellbeing Cafe where it’s chef will use the ingredients to create nutritious and organic recipes. Groups will be able to use the space for exercise classes, art workshops and community events.  

The first of its kind in Stratford, this project really embraces wellbeing within the community, with Stratford Council donating 240 Hidcote Lavender as part of the Coventry and Warwickshire’s ‘Year of Wellbeing’

The 12 raised beds that were professionally installed by brand new BAM Construction Apprentices will be planted on the 25th of September with help from the wonderful David Bradley, the Garden’s Patron. .  

(Left to right): Carole Longden (Forest of Hearts), David Bradley, and Emma Bond (NHS SWFT)

(Left to right): Carole Longden (Forest of Hearts), David Bradley, and Emma Bond (NHS SWFT)

David commented: “It is great to see the Forest of Hearts, NHS and local businesses working together like this to create a place for people to enjoy and heal. By working together, the community will create an oasis in the middle of Stratford that will support a huge number of local people.” 

The Garden of Wellbeing has been designed to be a community edible garden to improve the wellbeing of the hospital staff, patients and visitors. Giving people the chance to get outside to relax surrounded by delicious smelling herbs, vegetables and edible flowers. It will offer a place to heal, garden, socialise and ultimately a space to help improve the lives of people experiencing isolation and loneliness, providing a place for companionship and nurturing.

Carole said: “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of local businesses and would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported this venture, please come and enjoy the garden”.  

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For more information about Forest of Hearts:

The Forest of Heart is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) promoting accessible and sustainable agroforestry, or “Forest Gardens” which exist for enjoyment, education, volunteering and also support good causes” Registered Charity No. 1160589. Supported by a board of trustees, the Forest of Hearts has small team of professionals and is looking to engage a large membership of supporters and volunteers who share the same aims.

The Forest of Hearts works in partnership with other charities and community organisations to create places of purpose and pleasure which help individuals to develop skills, confidence and friendships that like the Forest Garden itself can grow and thrive.