Wellbeing garden created at ambulance station
- Credit: Edward Kennedy
An ambulance station’s new wellbeing garden is aiming to promote discussions around mental health.
A corner of the yard at Newham Ambulance Station has been transformed into an area for staff to sit and
"We're trying to raise awareness of mental health," explained paramedic Edward Kennedy.
"It's quite a big issue in the service. In this job we can observe some quite dramatic stuff.
"The garden is a space for anyone to sit and talk about things."
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Occupying a former dead area in the station's yard, the new garden is surrounded by colourful work by street art group Art Under The Hood and includes plants, reeds and places for people to sit.
Keen gardener Edward explained that there were plans to develop the garden even further.
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"We have got a charity fund in the London Ambulance Service and I'm trying to get some money from that," he said.
"I'd like to put in a pond, and next year I want to get some vegetables to grow.
"This will get better and better."
He also explained that he would like to introduce a wishing well, where coins can be thrown in throughout the year and the money used to pay for a counsellor to come in for a drop in session.
The project was supported by Aston Group, who provided many of the materials and also joined the ambulance station's staff in carrying out the work.
"Without them we wouldn't be able to do anything like this," Edward said.
Other aspects of the garden - such as the seating - were sourced by members of the Wellington Road station's staff.
Edward, who has been in the ambulance service for 13 years, said that the project was also helping to bring staff together. "We have got a lot of new faces," he said. "It's a good opportunity for them to get to know people.
"We get flexible breaks, which means we can take them at any station, so we're hoping to get people to come here from other stations to use the garden."