A charity has launched a competition to help bring a smile to neurological patients’ faces in the north-east.
Friends of the Neuro Ward was set up in 2013 to support patients in the neurological wards at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and the neuro rehab unit at Woodend Hospital.
The ward looks after patients from across Grampian and the Highlands who have all types of neurological conditions, such as brain tumours, spinal injuries, Parkinson’s, MND, MS and Guillain-Barré Syndrome.
And Friends of the Neuro Ward is currently fundraising to build a therapy garden in the grounds of Woodend Hospital, where many of the patients they support go for rehabilitation.
The plans are progressing, but to help cover some of the costs the charity has launched a ‘best garden borders’ competition, which will be judged by former Beechgrove Garden presenter Jim McColl.
People across Grampian and the Highlands are being asked to send a good quality photograph of their garden border from this year to the charity via email or Facebook by Sunday, November 1.
All the entries will then be put on social media, and supporters will be asked to text a number to vote for their favourite – raising vital funds for the charity.
Prizes include vouchers generously donated by Parkhill Garden Centre in Dyce, and a tree donated by Jim McColl.
Caroline Critchlow, co-chairwoman and founder of FOTNW, is a garden designer and believes the project will be hugely beneficial to patients by giving them a tranquil space to get away from the ward and reflect on their journey so far.
Caroline, who is a gardening guru for BBC Orkney, said: “Throughout lockdown, we kept saying that we wished the garden was in place so that patients unable to have visitors into the ward had a place to get away from it all.
“Coronavirus has hit all our fundraising activities, but we’re more determined than ever to get the garden built.
“The best borders competition is a simple idea and we hope it will catch the imagination of people – whether they are experienced gardeners or picked up a garden fork for the first time in lockdown.”
Patients can be at the Woodend rehabilitation ward for up to 18 months.
The fully-accessible garden will be a colourful, safe retreat open to patients, their families and staff.