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Greenspace art installation for NHSGGC hospital

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) has installed the first ever piece of outdoor art at Stobhill Hospital’s Mental Health Campus in Glasgow, signalling a summer of work to improve the hospital’s greenspaces and outdoor facilities.

A willow arch has been designed and built by willow artist and sculptor Geoff Forest, and will be surrounded by flowers and plants to bring structure, colour and scent year-round. Inside the structure, circular seating, designed by ERZ landscape architects, and built and installed by The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) and Glasgow Wood Recycling, provides a sheltered, tranquil space for patients, visitors, carers and staff.

As well as creating a place to meet and rest, and acting as a destination in itself for walking tours and other outdoor activities, its completion is only the beginning for the Stobhill site and the surrounding community. Now that he has finished the arch, Geoff Forest will deliver training to greenspace volunteers in pruning and maintenance, improving employability skills for those involved. It's also hoped that the development will kick-start a range of changes to the site over spring and summer to attract and upskill more volunteers and to benefit the local community.

Fiona Roche, greenspace officer at NHSGGC, said: 'Stobhill Hospital and its mental health campus is a real landmark in the local area, but while its buildings are surrounded by considerable areas of greenspace, it has become clear that some of these spaces are not being used to their full potential. We are hoping that the creation of the Willow Arch will be the first of many exciting developments in the area, heralding practical benefits as well as creating tranquil, beautiful places for patients, visitors and staff alike.'

Elaine Melville, volunteer co-ordinator for In-Patient Mental Health Services at Stobhill and one of the drivers of the new greenspace project, hopes that the expansion of greenspace projects will be of benefit to volunteers and the local community. She said: 'Over the years, many of our volunteers have been users of mental health services at the campus, and we hope that learning how to maintain greenspaces like these will be hugely rewarding to them and other volunteers, and may even lead to new career opportunities for some of them.'

Greenspace is one of the five key Areas of Focus for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde as it seeks to play its part in tackling the climate emergency. NHSGGC is committed to enhancing greenspaces across its estate, as well-managed green and open spaces support and contribute to enhanced biodiversity. There is also an increasing body of evidence linking access to high quality greenspace with enhanced physical and mental health.

Sustainability - NHSGGC

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