A TV gardening guru will lend his expertise as a charity launches a competition to help add a splash of colour to the lives of scores of neurological patients.
Friends of the Neuro Ward is currently fundraising to build a therapy garden in the grounds of Woodend Hospital, Aberdeen, where many of the patients they support go for rehabilitation.
The plans are progressing, but to help cover some of the costs the charity has launched a “best garden borders” competition, which will be judged by the Beechgrove Garden’s Jim McColl.
People across Grampian and the Highlands are being asked to send a good quality photograph of their garden border from this year to the charity via e-mail or Facebook by Sunday, November 1.
All the entries will then be put on social media, and supporters will be asked to text a number to vote for their favourite – raising vital funds for the charity.
Prizes include vouchers generously donated by Parkhill Garden Centre in Dyce, and a tree donated by Mr McColl himself.
Caroline Kritchlow, co-chairwoman and founder of FOTNW, is a garden designer herself and believes the project will be hugely beneficial to patients – giving them a tranquil space to get away from the ward and reflect on their journey so far.
Mrs Critchlow, who is a gardening expert for BBC Orkney, said: “Throughout lockdown, we kept saying that we wished the garden was in place so that patients unable to have visitors into the ward had a place to get away from it all.
“Coronavirus has hit all our fundraising activities, but we’re more determined than ever to get the garden built. The best borders competition is a simple idea and we hope it will catch the imagination of people – whether they are experienced gardeners or picked up a garden fork for the first time in lockdown.”
Patients can be at the Woodend rehabilitation ward for up to 18 months.
The fully-accessible garden will be a colourful, safe retreat open to patients, their families and staff.
Photographs of the best border must be submitted by Sunday, November 1, by direct messaging the Friends of the Neuro Ward Facebook page or e-mailing email@example.com