People from Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven, struggling with their mental health, are benefitting from a sensory and edible garden to boost mood and wellbeing, reduce stress and improve physical health.

The garden has been funded through Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust’s iCare innovation development programme and created by staff to enhance patient care.

Beth Chesworth, Occupational Therapist, used the funding to enhance the hospital experience for patients at Airedale Centre for Mental Health. Beth created a sensory and edible garden to develop and deliver a therapeutic horticultural programme. Nature-based activities are known to provide stress relief and relaxation for people, as well as improve physical health and functioning. An aim of the therapeutic horticultural programme is to engage patients of different ages, interests and abilities with nature-based activities to meet a therapeutic goal.

Beth Chesworth, Occupational Therapist said: “The edible garden is packed with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Patients can take the time to grow these to support their mental health and wellbeing, benefitting from being in nature and taking pride in cultivating their own plants. Patients and staff have credited the horticultural groups with improving mood and inspiring others to engage in more nature-based activities in the future.”

The iCare programme aims to help staff make innovative ideas, with growth prospects, happen and support them to create value and impact in Trust services and beyond.