Thousands of pounds worth of bespoke raised beds bursting with fruit and vegetables have been donated to an innovative garden therapy unit at Headley Court, the Surrey-based armed forces rehabilitation centre.
The gift was made after The Edible Garden Show’s organisers were moved and inspired by work carried out at Headley Court in the groundbreaking horticultural therapy unit developed to help servicemen returning from conflicts recover their strength, mobility and co-ordination.
The unit opened in May last year and is run by Major Peter Le Feuvre, a Ministry of Defence physiotherapist, who uses gardening and grow-your-own planting to help patients improve their concentration and reduce stress levels.
Major Le Feuvre and members of his team were invited to attend the show at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, to highlight the therapeutic benefits of gardening.
He spoke of the role garden therapy plays in the rehabilitation of battle injured soldiers.
Bev Channel, the shows Event Director, said; “Our visitors were awestruck as they listened to Major Le Feuvre and his team talk about the incredibly positive results that horticultural therapy has had on the recovery of injured soldiers.
“We felt the raised beds, which we had commissioned and planted for the show, were a perfect height to be incorporated into the garden project at Headley Court this season.”
Major Le Feuvre says; “We use the ‘green’ environment to rehabilitate injured troops.
“Horticultural therapy is as much about the psychological benefits of doing something meaningful and fulfilling – nurturing and growing plants – as it is about the physical benefits of moving around, standing, bending, lifting, carrying and negotiating obstacles.
“It encourages patients to experience different activities which aids the rehabilitation from their injuries.
“By varying the rehabilitation methods used at Headley Court, we can keep patients stimulated and focused on their goals and road to recovery.”