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Essex hospital team win national sustainability award

22 Nov Essex hospital team win national sustainability award

Green fingered staff from St Andrew’s hospital in Essex have won a top Health Service Journal (HSJ) award for a sustainability project run in partnership with patients.

The Growing Spaces to Grow project, led by the hospital’s Horticulture Specialist Graham Maynard, picked up the Environmental Sustainability Award, having been shortlisted from more than 1,000 entries.

The prestigious and national awards programme aims to highlight projects which have a demonstrable environmental impact, while offering benefits to both staff and patients.

The initiative, located at the hospital site in North Benfleet, is a green space which was created from recycled materials and features a green gym, polytunnel, wood store and raised flower beds.

It has a low-carbon footprint and has made use of donations from local charities and recycling organisations from within the local area. In addition, some of the planters were made from light fittings and the bike shed was constructed using recycled plywood board.

The independent judging panel of experts said: “We were blown away by this winning project which is centred entirely on delivering better outcomes for their patients. The project was delivered by a very small team, with barely any budget and is delivering returns to the Trust and cost savings. It teaches skills and prepares patients for life after discharge. This is all while having a positive and environment impact on their surroundings.”

Annymn Adams, the Lead Occupational Therapist, and a vital part of the Growing Spaces to Grow project, said: “We started this project to help our patients build confidence and achieve qualifications, while promoting a healthy lifestyle. Never in our wildest of dreams did we expect to win an award for this.

“I’m proud to say that over the past three years we’ve transformed the green space into a sustainable garden and therapeutic space. Around 80 per cent of our resources were used from recycled materials which were all sourced within a 15-mile radius and we used donated water butts to harvest rain water.

“The project has been a lot of hard work, but extremely rewarding and we’re all thrilled to have won this award.”

Jess Lievesley, the charity’s interim CEO, said: “Sustainability is firmly on the St Andrew’s Healthcare agenda now and I’m pleased to say that as a charity we’ve become more proactive when it comes to addressing environmental issues.

“We’ve already started making improvements across all our sites by reducing our waste and looking at news ways that we could become a more sustainable charity. In the last year alone we’ve reduced our total emissions by nine per cent and now nearly 95 per cent of the hospital’s general waste is recycled, which makes a significant difference.

“The Growing Spaces to Grow project is a shining example of how we can incorporate reducing our carbon footprint, while improving health outcomes and educating our patients.

“I’m so proud of the team who have worked tirelessly to make this project a success and they very much deserve this award.”