South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, a local provider of NHS services in Wakefield, is officially opening a labyrinth at Fieldhead, Ouchthorpe Lane on Monday 29th April.
A labyrinth is a pattern with a single winding path that leads from the entrance to the centre. Labyrinths differ from mazes as they have only one path to reach the centre.
The labyrinth has been built within the Fieldhead site so that people can benefit from this alternative therapeutic activity and is part of a larger Caring Garden, which offers a relaxing environment as well as the space for services to offer horticultural therapy.
Work on the labyrinth began in September 2012. Gardeners from the Trust have developed the space; recycling many materials from across the site to landscape the area. Around the labyrinth, flower beds representing the four seasons have been planted and seating areas have been made.
The Trust’s chief executive Steven Michael will open the labyrinth supported by members of the pastoral and spiritual care team, who have lead the project. People who use services provided by the Trust and members of staff will also attend and will have the opportunity to experience walking the labyrinth.
Rev Mike Gartland, head of pastoral and spiritual care, said, “The process of walking a labyrinth is based on the idea of the journey of life and although the path twists and sometimes appears to go backwards, it eventually takes us to our goal. It is used for reflection, contemplation, meditation, concentration and focus. People who enter the labyrinth can enjoy the value of quiet surroundings to reflect on their lives and take time to centre themselves and their thoughts.
“At the Trust we recognise that spiritual support can be very useful to some people who use our services and their carers at what is often a very difficult time in their lives. We support patients of all faiths (or no faith) and our spiritual and pastoral care team give people the time and space to talk through feelings, concerns or plans for the future, in confidence and safety.
“The labyrinth has created a space for staff, service users, carers and visitors to the Fieldhead site to take the opportunity to unwind, still the mind and return to a centre point of peace and stillness. The journey to the centre of the labyrinth is symbolic of remembering and reconnecting with the whole (health) of ourselves in a compassionate and accepting way.”