Horatio's Garden: Salisbury teen's legacy branches out

Horatio's Garden: Salisbury teen's legacy branches out

Published by The Spire FM News Team at 8:05am 27th December 2015. (Updated at 8:52am 27th December 2015)

The Salisbury charity now has national status and aims to open similar gardens at all of the UK's specialist spinal centres.

Salisbury is home to the very first, and now a national network of hospital gardens is going to created in memory of a south Wiltshire teenager.

Horatio Chapple from Bishopstone died in 2011 after being mauled by a polar bear that attacked his tent during an adventure trip to Norway.

Before the tragedy Horatio had worked as a volunteer at the spinal injuries ward during his school Summer holidays. He had dreamed of becoming a doctor and shared visions of creating a space for patients to get away from the hospital ward, and enjoy the outside. The 17-year-old's legacy is the 'Horatio's Garden' which was created for patients in the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Injuries Centre at Salisbury District Hospital.

  • The charity, which has now taken on NATIONAL status, has increased its work and aims to open similar gardens at all 11 of the UK's specialist spinal centres. Horatio's Garden was also selected to be one of the beneficiaries of the coveted 'Telegraph Newspaper Christmas Appeal'.

Executive trustee Victoria Holton has said:

"This is a great honour for Horatio's Garden and an opportunity to showcase the work of our Salisbury based charity creating garden projects for NHS spinal injury centres."

Horatio's Garden in Salisbury

Horatio's Garden Salisbury: A vital space for spinal patients

Horatio's Dad, David and Mum, Olivia Chapple, told Spire FM News they never expected things to develop so fast:

"I don't think we did initially. Our great focus was creating something amazing in Salisbury, and it still is. The Salisbury garden will be the flagship of the charity forever. The important thing is, this isn't just about building a garden, this is about a project so the charity funds ongoing activities and events in Horatio's Garden."

Olivia and David Chapple in Horatio's Garden

Olivia and David Chapple in Horatio's Garden

And what does Olivia believe Horatio would have thought of the results:

"I think he'd be really thrilled. He was an ambitious boy and I think that he would have wanted to do things that would have had a profound effect on people. We knew he wanted to be a doctor, and I also knew that he had all sorts of different ideas. He had a great questioning mind, and was very inquisitive."

Hear more from Horatio's Mum here (click the play button):

  • Horatio's Garden is the 'special' space at Salisbury District Hospital that gives spinal injury patients their own outdoor area. It was designed by Chelsea Flower Show gold winner Cleve West. Since it opened it has not only attracted local and national attention but has also picked up a number of awards. In February 2015 it scooped three accolades. It won the Public Space, Judges, and People prizes at the Society Garden Designers Awards.
  • Horatio's Garden in Salisbury also boasts a garden room where patients can also escape from the clinical space of the hospital. It's a place where they can share in garden therapy, art therapy, and art. There's no doubt that it's transformed things for spinal patients at Salisbury District Hospital. Even if they're confined to a hospital bed, patients can still enjoy horticultural activities and a number of other activities in the garden. The Horatio's Garden charity's now working to develop the same at all 11 of the UK's regional specialist spinal treatment centres. Salisbury would remain the charity's flagship.

Horatio's Garden No.2 : This is being designed by James Alexander-Sinclair, and work is due to start in January 2016 at the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit in Glasgow, which cares for patients from all over Scotland. The funding is all in place, and it should be ready to open by September.

Horatio's Garden No.3 : The charity is now raising money for a third garden designed by Joe Swift. This will be at The National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire. That centre cares for 150 patients every year, including many children and teenagers.

It costs about £25,000 per year to maintain the first garden at Salisbury District Hospital. With your on-going help, Horatio's Garden aims to plant hope for people living with paralysis.
Find out more here: www.horatiosgarden.org.uk

Olivia Chapple has already spoken of her pride in all that's been achieved:

"Thank you to all our supporters and please continue to think about us. It's a testament to all the support we have locally, we have a fantastic team of volunteers, wonderful supporters whether it's schools involved, all sorts of different gardening groups, different people who have felt touched to support us. None of this would happen without them so we are so grateful."

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