HMP Preston’s healthcare garden won the Health & Wellbeing Award at the RHS Britain In Bloom (North West In Bloom division) Neighbourhood Awards last year. The garden was judged as ‘Outstanding’ (Level 5), receiving a total of 92 points out of 100.
North West in Bloom oversees Lancashire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside, and is one of the 18 regions that comprise Britain in Bloom – one of the longest running environmental competitions in the UK.
The award-winning outdoor space was created by staff and the patients. Emma Beniston, Spectrum’s Head of Healthcare at HMP Preston, said, “This is such an achievement; with our HMP partners we won a bid for an air gym and now use the space for sensory planting.”
Roy Down, North West In Bloom judge, said: “This was my second visit to HMP Preston, and I was even more impressed this year than my last visit. The garden areas remain excellent and are providing horticultural therapy for the men who use the garden spaces. The work the staff are doing here is incredible, despite the lack of space. It is a fantastic project, that has so many positive outcomes”.
Dr Linda Harris OBE, Spectrum’s Chief Executive, said, “Spectrum’s healthcare workforce is contributing to the growing body of research backing the idea that gardening has measurable benefits to both mental and physical health. We are making the link between gardening and horticulture as a therapeutic exercise for our patients; appreciating nature and its amazing healing powers.”