We want to create a Community Activity Hub at the Highbury Hospital Community Garden. Highbury Hospital provides a broad range of mental health services for adults of all ages and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (also known as learning disabilities). Some of these services are based at Highbury and work out in the community, whilst others support inpatient services.
The Live Team
We are a small team with a large remit and we sit within Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. The team's strategy is to establish a strong community at Highbury and other local hospital sites alongside developing strong links with local community partners. We are dedicated to improving the inpatient experience and supporting the wellbeing and recovery of our service users.
Highbury Community Garden
The Highbury Hospital Community Garden was set up by the Live Team and opened in June 2016. The Live Team source funding for the development and running of the garden through the Trust's Charitable Fund which is a registered charity. The Garden has proved to be a valuable community resource where people take part in a range of horticultural, arts and social activities. It is an inclusive space where people come together from across the hospital site and is run collaboratively by service users, volunteers, carers and staff.
We now want to launch a new way of working whereby we invite the wider community into the garden to deliver activity sessions and to share information about the resources and activities available to service users in the local community once they are discharged.
We have piloted this approach over the past year with great success, receiving positive feedback from all involved.
" I would never have tried these activities if I had been at home ... having the support of the hospital staff makes a big difference"
" The Community Garden is a relaxing, calming place to try out new activities ..like a half way between the ward and home."
"Meeting community staff at the garden makes going to the groups in the community much less daunting, at least I'll know the people when I walk in and I know what to expect."
One major obstacle became apparent during our pilot: our lack of indoor space at the Community Garden. This lack of indoor space means that we are not able to provide this service all year round and also, limits the range of activities that community partners can deliver.
We need your support to create an accessible and inclusive indoor space at the Highbury Hospital Community Garden. This space will be the 'Community Activity Hub'. It will be a vital 'stepping stone' between the inpatient wards and the wider community.
Social isolation, social exclusion and loss of confidence are common problems faced by people with mental health difficulties and intellectual and developmental disabilities once discharged. It is a huge challenge for many people to access the resources available in the local community. We want to create a ‘Community Activity Hub’ to enable service users to:
- Find out about resources and activities available in the community
- Explore interests with the support of hospital staff by taking part in activities delivered by community providers
- Develop the skills and confidence required to access community resources
- Be supported to plan what activities they want to access when discharged form hospital
This approach will support the strengthening of community networks and reduce social isolation, supporting people's mental well-being. Furthermore, through community partnership working awareness will be raised within the wider community of mental health issues, which will help to reduce the stigma often face by people with mental health problems.
The Live Team passionately believe that a Community Activity Hub will make a real difference to the lives of the adults with mental health problems that we work with and we have the drive and commitment to make it a success.