HIGHCLIFFE School students presented hand-made artwork to patients in the Royal Bournemouth Hospital’s stroke unit for use in gardening therapy sessions.

Year 10 students Chloe Charlwood, Ben Hall, George Hinkson, Olivia Trant and Bethany Jenkinson presented staff and patients with decorated herb plant pots and specially designed wall flowers, created by a group of 30 students from the school. The pots were donated by Stewarts Garden Centre and carry messages in Latin of ‘get well soon,’ ‘health’ and ‘speedy recovery.’ Each student designed an individual petal, drawing upon the surrounding coastline, natural habitat and local forest areas for inspiration.

It is the fifth year running that Highcliffe pupils have created artwork for the unit.

Stroke patient, Anne Griffiths, said: “I think it is absolutely fabulous and it means so much to see something cheerful.

“Although I am lucky and have lots of family to visit, not everyone does. The fact these students care enough to do this makes a real difference.”

The stroke unit uses garden therapy to help in the rehabilitation of patients. It is beneficial to patients who have lost feeling in their hands.

Clare Gordon, consultant stroke nurse, said: “The cold, damp soil gives a different sensation to that of the normal sterile hospital, while nurturing something and seeing it grow gives a sense of achievement.

“Many of our patients enjoy gardening at home, so if we can offer a little bit of normality here, it brings back happy memories and reminds them of home.

“All these things really do help them on the road to recovery.”

Student Chloe Charlwood said: “We hadn’t quite realised the positive reaction our work would have. It is overwhelming as it is appreciated more than we thought.”

The stroke unit is now looking for donations of herbs to fill the pots and help support patients in their recovery.