Students from Manchester Metropolitan University with the help of Unilever have created a sensory garden Royal Manchester Children Hospital featuring plants and herbs referenced in Shakespearean plays for patients at the hospital to enjoy.
Scott Tanswell, a second year History student at MMU who is project managing the garden said: “The terrace is a lovely space, but there’s no greenery up there so it was an ideal spot to make the garden. It will have a huge impact on these children who aren’t very well, and will hopefully help aid their recovery.”
All the plants in the garden can be found in Shakespeare and will be be tied into the hospital school’s curriculum and children will be able to visit it to learn why fennel was mentioned in Hamlet, or what the connection is between Othello and lettuce.
Sarah Naismith, Head of Charities for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity said: “We are extremely grateful to Unilever and Manchester Metropolitan University for the time and effort they’ve committed to building the sensory roof garden at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. The garden will make a fantastic addition to the outdoor play area and it’s fantastic that it will be up and running ready for summer.”
She continued “The hospital school and Play department were keen for the garden to be educational as well as beautiful. The Shakespearean theme is a wonderful way to engage the patients.”
Activities so far have included creating garden space and planting bulbs in preparation for spring. There will be numerous volunteering opportunities in 2015. Opportunities include storytelling in the garden incorporating shakespeare into the stories and work shops run by students for the school. If however you would like to get stuck in and get your hands dirty outdoor activities will include a day of painting and tidying up, planting as well as a summer harvest session and bulb planting.