A new purpose-built, specially designed garden to provide a therapy space for children outdoors has been opened at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales.
The Noah’s Ark Garden was officially opened on Friday 17 March and provides a bright, engaging and dedicated space for children and their families to enjoy.
The Noah’s Ark Garden was funded by Welsh Government and Noah’s Ark Charity to provide a safe, outdoor accessible space to be used by patients and visitors to the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital to play and have therapies outside.
The garden will be officially opened in a celebration event led by Vaughan Gething AM, Chair of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (UHB), Maria Battle and president and founder of the Noah’s Ark Charity, Lyn Jones OBE.
Maria Battle, Chair of Cardiff and Vale UHB said: “The garden is absolutely beautiful! This bright, child-friendly space will allow families to come down from the wards and play together and have fun together, hopefully helping them to relax for a while at such a worrying time.“
The Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething said: “I am pleased to open this fantastic therapy garden, which will provide a safe outdoor space for the young patients at Noah’s Ark Children’s hospital and their families to play and enjoy some fresh air. It will also provide a great outdoor environment for some therapies such as physiotherapy. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in creating this wonderful space.”
Mr Lyn Jones OBE said: “The Noah’s Ark Garden is very much a symbol of the combined vision we had for a children’s hospital for Wales from the outset – a world class paediatric facility with the needs of children and families at its very heart. It provides a fun and engaging space for children to receive therapy and a safe place for them to play in the outdoors. It’s also a haven for families, who in some cases are facing long periods apart, to spend time together away from the wards.
“As a charity, we’re delighted to have been able to help make the vision for this garden a reality. We hope that it will provide a place of both solace and fun for generations of children to come.”
The bright and vibrant play space is equipped with seating areas, a gazebo, soft flooring, a maze, a slide, play equipment and a therapy zone where young patients can receive their physiotherapy in the fresh air.
The garden has a jungle theme with a beautiful spray-painted mural to set the tropical scene. There are planters with palm trees which sway in the breeze and fragrant, aromatic herbs in raised beds. Artificial grass has been laid to bring a feeling of being in the great outdoors and heighten the senses.
The area is lit with LED lighting, giving the garden visual impact even during the evening.
Work began on the project in December 2016, turning the rubble-strewn courtyard into a child-friendly space, which is easily accessible for everyone.
The Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital recently won Project of the Year at the Wales Constructing Excellence Awards, 2016.