Spinal unit's garden trust launches drive to plug £240k shortfall

Families trying to stay active during the lockdown are being invited to grow plants and help a garden trust to plug a £240,000 income shortfall.

Horatio Chapple
Horatio Chapple

The trust behind Horatio's Garden at a spinal injuries unit has launched the Grow to Give campaign to attract donations after cancelling its normal fundraising events due to coronavirus.

Supporters are being urged to create gifts by growing plants, flowers, vegetables or making preserves. These small gifts can then be delivered to the doorsteps of people in their local community, together with a card asking if they would be prepared to donate to the charity as a little ‘thank you’ in return.

The trust said the thoughtful idea will help to provide a neighbourly service of fresh, homegrown produce while supporting the physical and mental health of those currently spending time at home.

Horatio Garden’s founder Dr Olivia Chapple said: “Grow to Give is a simple and fun way people can help. Whilst we’re all facing difficult times, people with spinal injuries are amongst the most vulnerable in our society and many of them are currently facing this crisis alone in hospital.

"Horatio’s Garden has long been a beautiful sanctuary for patients, but now it is more of a lifeline than ever.

"The charity needs help to ensure that they can continue to offer the safety and tranquility of nature to those who need it most. We hope the campaign will not only provide much needed donations, but that the deliveries of home grown produce to neighbours will spread some cheer across local communities.”

To get involved with Grow to Give just start planting and contact the charity via email to fundraising@horatiosgarden.org.uk or phoning 01722 326834.

To donate £5 text the word GARDEN to 70450 at message rate cost.

Planting tips, materials and expert advice is available on the website www.horatiosgarden.org.uk/growtogive

Horatio’s Garden is a national charity that creates stunning projects in NHS spinal injury centres and the garden at Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital near Oswestry, which opened last year is the fourth to be unveiled by the trust. The garden needs about £60,000 a year to keep it running.

The gardens were the brainchild of Dr Chapple's late son Horatio, an aspiring medic, after he did work experience at the spinal centre in Salisbury. Tragically the 17-year-old died after being attacked by a polar bear while on an expedition in Norway in 2011. His family continued with his idea as his legacy.

Maninder Kaur Dhallu, then 17, from Tamebridge on the Walsall and Sandwell border, was also on the Arctic expedition that ended in tragedy.

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