Green fingered volunteers bring joy to patients at Thompson House

Volunteers and staff have united together to improve the outdoor space at Thompson House Hospital in Lisburn, which offers an inpatient rehabilitation and respite service for people and their families with acquired brain injuries.

Jonathan Patton, (Chairman, South Eastern HSC Trust), Ken Patterson, Dermot Hutchinson and Barbara Campbell (Director Children’s Services & Executive Director of Social Work)

When Covid19 prevented the volunteers from carrying out their roles indoors, they were enthusiastic and eager to put their skills to good use creating a welcome and refreshed space in the courtyard and garden area of the hospital for patients and their families.

Two volunteers, Dermot Hutchinson and Ken Patterson have been instrumental in this achievement.

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With their vision and hard work they have cleared out and refilled a large flower, repainted garden furniture, made window boxes and filled other plant pots around the hospital.

They have also planted a memory tree in the middle of the large flowerbed to pay tribute to every patient who has been treated at Thompson House.

Dermot and Ken are both very enthusiastic about how they can help others and have future plans to build work benches for the courtyard that wheelchair users can access to grow vegetables and plants and to hold musical events in the garden area.

Ken Patterson said: “It is was a joy and an honour to see the patients and their families enjoy the space we have created.”

Dermot Hutchinson, a retired GP added: “It is great I am continuing in some way to work here at Thompson House and it means so much to help create an environment which will be so beneficial, not just for the patients here but also for their families.”

The Manager of Thompson House Sandra Best thanked everyone for their hard work in revitalising the garden area.

“The volunteers are invaluable to Thompson House and we are very grateful for all that they do,” she said.

The Chairman of the South Eastern Trust, Jonathan Patton, who recently visited Thompson House to see first-hand the work carried out by the volunteers also thanked everyone for their hard work in creating the much-appreciated green space,

“I am astounded and very grateful for all the amazing work which has done,” said Mr Patton.

“It is clearly a labour of love. Volunteers do amazing work throughout our Trust and we are incredibly lucky to have such a dedicated team here at Thompson House.”