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Greener Communities Fund awards £68,000 to Stockport NHS Charity for therapy garden

29 May 2024 - Press Release

Stockport NHS Charity is one of eight charities across the UK to be awarded a Greener Communities Fund grant to create and enhance green spaces and improve access to nature for its staff and patients. 

The charity will use the £68,000 grant to fund a new Acute Frailty Unit Therapy Garden at Stepping Hill Hospital.  The project will see the transformation of a neglected courtyard area into a tranquil relaxing garden space where patients with long-term health conditions, dementia or mobility issues can engage in structured outdoor activities to aid their physical and mental recovery. 

Kate Leadbeater, Charity Manager at Stockport NHS Charity said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been awarded this grant by the Greener Communities Fund, which will enable us to transform a previously unused space into a calming and welcoming garden area for the benefit of our patients. Having access to a dedicated space where they can enjoy spending time in nature away from clinical spaces is so important and we’re excited to get this project underway with our experienced community partner Groundwork Greater Manchester, using their expertise in designing and developing landscapes to improve physical and mental wellbeing.”

Stockport NHS Charity helps to improve the health and wellbeing of patients by in Stepping Hill Hospital and community NHS services by delivering services above and beyond ordinary standards. It is supported by donations including this latest from the Greener Communities Fund. The plans for the new garden are being developed together with charity’s partner, Groundwork Greater Manchester (GGM).

Now in its second year, the Greener Communities Fund is a partnership between environmental charity Hubbub and NHS Charities Together, funded by the Starbucks 5p cup charge. The Greener Communities Fund has so far benefited over 52,000 people since its first round of funding in 2023 with nine charity initiatives already underway. 

There is mounting evidence that Green Social Prescribing - supporting people to engage in nature-based interventions and activities - delivers a wealth of positive health benefits. Research commissioned by the Greener Communities Fund found that 8 in 10 of us feel healthier and more energetic after spending time in nature, while 70% of us report improved mental and physical health, from better sleep to reduced stress and improved mood. 

Ellie Orton OBE, Chief Executive at NHS Charities Together, said: “We know that there is a strong link between green spaces and improved health and wellbeing, but unfortunately there remains significant inequality in access to these spaces. We’re delighted to be partnering with Hubbub and Starbucks for a second year to continue to help remove barriers to nature and build on the incredible successes of the projects we’ve supported to date. 

“One of our main objectives as a charity is to help improve the health of our nation, and in turn reduce the pressure on overstretched NHS services. We look forward to working with the team in Stockport to bring to life their visions and see first-hand the significant impact that these green spaces will have on staff, patients and local communities alike.” 

GP and broadcaster Dr Radha Modgil said: “As a doctor and someone who cares deeply about health and the natural world, it is incredible to see the two come together to mutually benefit through the Greener Communities Fund. Nature helps us to feel better, reduce how stressed and anxious we feel and support connection in our local community. The work that NHS Charities Together, Hubbub and Starbucks are doing to improve access to green spaces is fundamental to changing the conversation around health; using nature and social prescribing to improve wellbeing. I’m absolutely delighted to support this initiative and am excited to see its impact.” 

The fund was open for expressions of interest from NHS charities from August 2023 and shortlisted projects were invited to submit full applications by January 2024. The winning projects were selected by a grant panel including representatives from Hubbub, Starbucks and NHS Charities Together. 



Acute therapy staff with the plans for the new garden

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