Transformative garden enhances life for spinal injuries patients

Mary Berry with the charity's founder, Horatio's mother Olivia Chapple
  • WATCH Rachel Hepworth's report from Stoke Mandeville:

A therapeutic garden designed to transform the lives of patients with spinal injuries has been officially opened by television cook Mary Berry.

Mary Berry with Horatio's mother Olivia Chapple Credit: ITV

The National Spinal Injury Centre at Stoke Mandeville treats patients from across the south, many of whom have suffered life-changing injuries.

It's run by the Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, who've welcomed the new garden, which they hope will help the recovery of their patients.

Horatio Chapple

The charity Horatio's Garden was set up in memory of 17 year old Horatio Chapple - who was killed by a polar bear while on an expedition in Norway in 2011.

It was his vision to create beautiful calm spaces for patients at a traumatic time in their lives.

For more information about the charity, which aims to create a garden at every spinal injuries centre in the country, click here

  • Horatio's Garden is a charity that creates and cares for beautiful gardens in NHS spinal injury centres. Leading garden designers develop the stunning sanctuaries for patients and their family and friends, creating an environment that becomes an integral part of their lives and care whilst spending many months in hospital.

  • Once the gardens have been built the charity organises activities in the garden for patients including garden therapy, art therapy, artists in residence, tea and cakes, food events and music concerts.

  • Spinal cord injuries are catastrophic, life-changing events. Patients often have little or no access to the outside world during their hospital stay yet research shows that at times of stress, being outside with nature contributes to a feeling of wellbeing.

  • The first Horatio's Garden opened in 2012 at the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment at Salisbury Hospital and was designed by award-winner, Cleve West.

  • Stoke Mandeville is the third project for the charity while building work on the fourth garden at The Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries at Oswestry is due to begin in September. A capital appeal for a Horatio's Garden London Spinal Cord Injury Centre at Stanmore designed by Tom Stuart-Smith is due to be officially launched in 2019.