Raised planter at Harrogate District Hospital helps arthritis patients get green fingered

Posted on: Tuesday 5 Jul 2016

A raised planter which aims to encourage arthritis patients to make gardening part of their therapy has been installed at Harrogate District Hospital thanks to a generous charity donation.

The planter has been paid for through fundraising by Arthritis Care Harrogate Branch, which is a local support group for people with arthritis, their relatives and friends.

Adding a splash of colour to the Therapy Garden, it is raised off the ground so people with arthritis or other mobility issues can garden while stood up and don’t have to bend or kneel down. In the planter are geraniums, choisya, fuschias, rosemary and escallonia.

Nanci Downey, Treasurer and Membership Officer at Arthritis Care Harrogate Branch, said: “We are delighted to have been able to donate this planter to Harrogate District Hospital and I’m sure it will be of great benefit to patients. Thank you to everyone who has donated and has been involved in the creation and installation of the planter.

“We hope it will encourage people to get into gardening more because it shows that even with arthritis it’s possible to be green fingered.

The planter has been created and installed by Horticap, the Harrogate-based charity where suitably qualified staff and a team of volunteers provide adults with learning disabilities training in horticulture, allied crafts and rural skills.

Dr Mike Green, Consultant Rheumatologist at Harrogate District Hospital, said: “Thank you to Arthritis Care Harrogate Branch for their kind donation and all the work which has gone into getting the planter in place. It’s a very welcome addition and we know it’ll be popular with patients.

“We are also looking at what else we can add to the Therapy Garden so hopefully this is just the start of how we can enhance it for the benefit of our patients.”

Anne Bott is a member of Arthritis Care Harrogate Branch and is currently going through the application process to be a volunteer at Harrogate District Hospital in the garden. She said: “I’ve spent a lot of time here as a patient and I’ve been wonderfully looked after. Volunteering here will be a good opportunity to give a little back. I have an allotment and gardening is my hobby so this is a good fit.”

Braving the rain in the Therapy Garden.
Braving the rain in the Therapy Garden.

To find out more about volunteering opportunities at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust please visit our Volunteering page.


Pictured from left to right are:

  • Nanci Downey, Treasurer and Membership Officer, Arthritis Care Harrogate Branch
  • Dr Mike Green, Rheumatology Consultant, Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust (HDFT)
  • Pauline Fitzgerald, Rheumatology Nurse Specialist, HDFT
  • Beverley Neville, Rheumatology Nurse Specialist, HDFT
  • Anne Bott, Member of Arthritis Care Harrogate Branch, soon to be a HDFT volunteer
  • Helen MacIver, Consultant Rheumatologist, HDFT
  • Fiona Tomlinson, Volunteer Co-ordinator, HDFT

For further information please contact:

Paul Widdowfield, Communications and Marketing Manager, [email protected] and 01423 557470.