6 June 2021

Emergency Department Wellbeing Garden and Staff Room

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Thanks to funding received through our Small Grants Programme, the Emergency Department at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh were able to convert a quadrangle area next to the department into a wellbeing garden for staff to take their breaks in.

There are over 200 staff in the Emergency Department, many of whom work 12 hour shifts. The staff had no suitable outside area where they could take some time to relax and get some fresh air during long and busy shifts.

They identified an area outside the teaching room which was close to the department and near a tannoy so staff could still take their breaks in the fresh air while still being easily contactable if needed in an emergency.

Funding was then requested and approved to buy garden furniture, plant pots and plants and help transform the area into a calm and inviting space for staff to enjoy their well earned break.

As well as providing funding for the project, our Green Health Programme Manager also provided advice and guidance on how best to convert the garden space. The team then worked together to get the garden ready and make the place their own.

Green health initiatives like these are vital in supporting health and wellbeing and reducing stress. And the team are going one step further. As well as using this space as somewhere to get away from busy, clinical settings, they are also engaging team members in therapeutic activities during breaktimes, using arts and crafts as a way to support positive mental health and wellbeing.