Women at Newton Lodge, Fieldhead, Wakefield have been involved in improving one of the unit’s courtyards. Newton Lodge provides mental health services for people from across Yorkshire who need care in a secure environment and it is run by South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust.
The project was coordinated by the occupational therapy team who encouraged the women to take part as a way of boosting their morale and their mental health.
The project was aimed at the Gaskell women only ward and involved the women developing a vegetable plot, laying a paved pathway and producing two large pieces of artwork which have now been placed on the walls either side of the courtyard gate.
The artwork was created during the wards art group sessions, which are facilitated by education tutor Paul Nicholson and occupational therapist Sarah Young. Both pieces are based on an original piece entitled ‘Heroic Roses’ by Paul Klee and inject some much needed colour into the ward’s courtyard area.
Ward manager Trish Murrain said, "This project has enabled women to try their hand at gardening and growing vegetables to use in their cooking sessions. Working as part of a team and being able to take part in meaningful activity has not only enhanced the women’s self esteem but also boosted morale on the ward. We now have a courtyard which is both productive and aesthetically pleasing and goes some way to improving the quality of life for the women here on the Gaskell ward."