Designing better mental healthcare facilities

First ever outdoor art installation at Glasgow’s Stobhill Hospital

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) has installed the first ever piece of outdoor art at Stobhill Hospital’s Mental Health Campus in Glasgow, signalling a summer of work to improve the hospital’s greenspaces and outdoor facilities.

The Willow Arch has been designed and built by willow artist and sculptor, Geoff Forest, and will be surrounded by flowers and plants to bring structure, colour, and scent year-round.

Inside it, circular seating designed by ERZ landscape architects, and built and installed by The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) and Glasgow Wood Recycling, provides a sheltered, tranquil space for patients, visitors, carers, and staff, encouraging its use as an outdoor rest or visiting area.

As well as creating a place to meet and rest, and acting as a destination in itself for walking tours and other outdoor activities, its completion is only the beginning for the Stobhill site and the surrounding community. Having finished the arch, Geoff Forest will now deliver training to greenspace volunteers, and staff who are interested, in pruning and maintenance, improving employability skills for those involved. It is also hoped the development will kick-start a range of changes to the site over spring and summer to attract and upskill more volunteers, and to benefit the local community.

Fiona Roche, Greenspace officer at NHSGGC, said: “Stobhill Hospital and its Mental Health Campus is a real landmark in the local area, but while its buildings are surrounded by considerable greenspace, some of these spaces are not being used to their full potential. We hope the creation of the Willow Arch will be the first of many exciting developments in the area, heralding practical benefits, as well as creating tranquil, beautiful places for patients, visitors, and staff.”

Elaine Melville, Volunteer co-ordinator for Inpatient Mental Health Services at Stobhill, and one of the drivers of the new greenspace project, said: “I’d like to thank Geoff for his ongoing connections with the hospital, and ERZ, TCV, and Glasgow Wood Recycling for their work on the seating area. I’d also like to thank the NHSGGC Charity and the Green Exercise Partnership for providing funding for the project.”

Pictured, left to right, are: Geoff Forest, Inpatient Services manager, Janice Naven, and Elaine Melville, during installation of the Willow Arch.

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