On Tuesday 14th August 2018, the ARU Students' Union's Volunteer Centre along with ARU’s Business school, took 13 Business Interns, as well as Vice President for Business and Law, Mary Copsey, to Broomfield Hospital. There they spent the morning volunteering in the patient gardens and also the staff and visitor wellness areas.
We split into four groups working on four different projects:-
1. Dementia garden
For patients and their families to have a safe out door garden to enjoy. We weeded and pulled out the annual plants that had finished flowering. We hoed the beds and generally tidied the area.
2. The new Helen Rollinson Sunken Cancer Garden
For patients to have a quiet place to sit and relax. We used mattocks to remove large roots and rocks to prepare the area for planting. This was particularly hard work and some of our intern’s hard work resulted in blisters on their hands, but it was worth it as it was a job well done.
3. New walkway between main hospital buildings
For patients to have a tranquil walk from department to department. Our interns had to dig the beds and prepare the soil for the hedgerows and trees to be planted in. Again this was hard work, but they managed to complete the entire area that needed preparing, which was great work as there were only four of them working on this.
4. Bench painting
Seating provided for hospital staff and patients to enjoy sitting outside in the Wellness area. Our group managed to paint 4 benches and they looked like new when they had finished, providing a lovely place to sit and contemplate.
We were joined by Broomfield hospitals gardening and Sustainability staff, David, Richard, Daryl and Christy. It was great working with them all as it gave us the opportunity to find out the background and reason for the different areas/projects. It was a real privilege to see areas of the hospital grounds that you generally don’t get to visit and it was great for our Business Interns to see what a difference their mornings work had made.
Many of the students showed an interest in continuing to volunteer in the hospital gardens in the future and we look forward to hearing about their activities.