Transforming Empty Space into Beautiful Garden for Hospital Patients - Wishlist Org
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Transforming Empty Space into Beautiful Garden for Hospital Patients

25th February, 2014

All in a Day’s Work for Westpac Volunteers

It’s not every day a banker has the opportunity to get dirty, in a literal sense.

Tomorrow 30 staff members of local Westpac branches will get that chance, swapping their suits for work clothes as they attempt to transform a barren hospital space into a beautiful internal garden, a relaxing retreat for staff and visitors to the hospital.

At midday on Wednesday, 26th of February, the unused space on Block 3 in Nambour Hospital will still be the uninviting blank canvas it is now, but just 3 and a half hours later by 4.00pm will have been transformed into a peaceful, plant-filled haven away from the clinical environment of the hospital.

A Wishlist initiative, the new internal garden will not only provide a much-needed time out space for hospital staff, but also for patients and their families, especially those from Antenatal, the Special Care Nursery, Paediatric Outpatients and the Children’s Ward.

Call for more manpower

As an alliance partner of Wishlist, Westpac put out the call amongst their team for staff to provide the manpower for the project and received a fantastic response with approximately 30 volunteering to show up tomorrow to help Wishlist achieve the makeover in just 3.5 hours.

At least, that’s what organisers are hoping to achieve in the tight schedule which will see volunteers furiously carting in pots, planters, tables and chairs, market umbrellas and soil, as well as potting, painting, planting and building a vertical garden. Once the champagne cork pops at 4.00pm it’s spades down and flutes up for a well-earned celebration.

Andrew Foreman of Westpac is one of these volunteers and said everyone was excited to get out of the office for the day and pitch in for such a great local initiative. “We are proud of our alliance with Wishlist and all have a passion for getting involved in hands-on projects like this that directly benefits the community,” Andrew said. “We have staff members coming from as far as Cairns, Mackay, Brisbane and of course the Sunshine Coast to help out, so it should also be a really fun, team-building day.”

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said the garden retreat will be convenient to those visiting or working in the Block 3 section of the Hospital and will also improve the aesthetics of this currently barren area. “The garden will provide a valuable place for staff and patients to relax and breathe, just to sit and be amongst nature and away from the clinical and often stressful situations they are facing while in hospital,” Lisa said.

“As an alliance partner Westpac has done a lot for Wishlist and the local community, and we are thrilled that they could help out in this way and really get involved at a grass roots level so to speak for patients and medical staff.”

To help with costs, Wishlist asked for assistance from the local business community to donate supplies for the garden. Quatro Design responded by donating pots and planters worth $5,000 while Andy’s Wholesale Plants supplied all the foliage free of charge.

Furniture worth $2,700 was donated by The Outdoor Furniture Specialists and the Brisbane Bombers NRL Expansion Bid, and the vertical garden’s potted colour was provided by Whiteoak Developments. Local removalist company Foxtrot Furniture Removals picked up and delivered all the plants for free.

Lisa Rowe said once again many in the community have stepped up to achieve something really special for local patients. “With all the businesses who have donated supplies, the Westpac volunteers providing the labour, the Wishlist project coordinators and the Hospital’s engineering team, the garden is a labour of love from many collaborators working together to give a wonderful gift to real people in their time of need.”