Last October Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care – which cares for patients and families in West Surrey and North-East Hampshire who are living with a terminal illness – was given a grant from St. James’s Place Foundation, to fund Phyllis Tuckwell’s pioneering Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH) sessions and promote STH to other hospices across the UK.
STH gives patients access to nature and gardening, which are proven to reduce stress levels and improve wellbeing. The sessions are set up to enable patients to do the planting themselves, participation which significantly boosts their confidence and self-esteem.
Since receiving this grant, Phyllis Tuckwell has developed and expanded its STH programme and now offers sessions to our patients at all stages of their illness, from those who attend Day Hospice or are cared for at home, to those who are staying on the Hospice’s In-Patient Unit.
Between now and Christmas, sessions will include creating a floral basket, potting up herbs, planting tree seedlings, making pot pourri, creating a colourful planter and making a Christmas wreath.
It has also enabled Lisi Pilgrem – an Occupational Therapist at the hospice – to promote STH nationally and offer guidance to other UK hospices on setting up their own STH programme.
On Saturday 21 October, Lisi will be running an STH for Palliative Care Study Day, at Marie Curie Hospice in Solihull. This informative day will explain how STH unlocks the therapeutic potential of outdoor landscapes, and will include talks, each focusing on different aspects of STH, including: the design and use of hospice gardens; the meaning and value of indoor STH in end of life care; and the therapeutic potential of an outdoor space.
On Thursday 9 November, Lisi will be running an STH for Palliative Care Training Day at Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice in Farnham, Surrey, aimed at qualified clinical staff such as Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Doctors, Nurses and Counsellors, offering guidance on how to set up an STH programme.
Attendees will participate in STH, discuss the STH for Palliative Care Model, learn good practice for infection prevention and control, and think through outcome measures. They will also receive a ‘setting up’ kit list and session handouts, as well as take home samplers.