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Green thumbed team open new prosthetic friendly garden in Wrexham


Staff, students and service users of the Posture and Mobility Service in Wrexham, have been working together to install state-of-the-art outdoor equipment to support people learning to use prosthetics and to create a wellbeing garden.

Two Glyndwr University placement students Caroline Thomas, for Occupational Therapy, and Jill Plumber, physiotherapy, took on the project of tidying, developing and enhancing the garden outside the Artificial Limb and Appliance Centre (ALAC) at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, to make it a useable space, working alongside their service users.

ALAC provides a range of services for people with a permanent or long-term impairment, including Artificial Limb Service, posture and mobility (wheelchairs), artificial eye service, and others.

Katie Davis, Prosthetics Clinical Lead, said: “The outside area has been transformed and they have engaged and worked with service users and we have seen the benefits first hand, with service users telling us how it’s improved their quality of life.

“They secured funding and grants for the project to buy items including a long-handled gardening tool for allow service users to work in the garden too from a seated position as well as standing. We also received a grow your own garden kit from Keep Wales Tidy, which they have installing for us.

“The work of Caroline and Jill has been tireless, and the service aim to grow this project with the support of current staff and future students from Glyndwr University.”

The new state of the art equipment has some challenging obstacles designed to mimic walking in different environments and includes a walkway with cobbles, grass and blocks, to help people with a prosthetic leg to learn how to walk on different types of ground. There are also steps and a slope to help with gait training.

John, 81, was a keen gardener before his leg was amputated earlier this year and has since not been able to spend time in his garden as he did before. John, who likes to grow his own food, joined the students in transforming the garden, as well as leading a workshop planting runner beans, which has helped build his confidence and motivation.

John said: “Gardening is very therapeutic, and it is an enjoyable pastime foe me, it really helps me to relax.” As part of John’s therapy, the team are supporting his hopes to start gardening at home again.