New community garden opened at University Hospital Wishaw

May 16, 2024

Relaxing, planting flowers or vegetables or having a cuppa: these are just some of the activities on the menu at the newly opened King George V Community Garden.

The ribbon was cut yesterday (Tuesday, 14 May) on the new greenspace at University Hospital Wishaw as part of the Green Health and Mental Health Awareness weeks.

The garden was a hive of activity during the launch with volunteers, patients, members of the public and St Thomas’ Primary School joining gardening and planting sessions, striding together as part of a walking step challenge, and taking part in mindfulness sessions.

Green fingered guests also had the opportunity to visit stalls representing SAMH, North Lanarkshire Council, VANL and local organisations including as SocialTrack and LAMH. NHS Lanarkshire also had a number of staff on hand from the Tobacco Control Team and the Health Promoting Health Service to discuss the physical and mental health benefits of engaging with nature.

The garden is one of five therapeutic gardens supported by NHS Lanarkshire’s Green Health Partnership and Clydesdale Community Initiatives Scotland (CCI), and funded via NHS Charities Together. The gardens offer various green health opportunities for inpatients and outpatients as well as hospital staff, visitors and the local communities.

Marie McKeown, Green Health Partnership Manager, NHS Lanarkshire, said: “It was great to welcome so many people to our latest community garden today.

“The Green Health and Mental Health Awareness Weeks are the perfect opportunity to showcase the garden as well as all the opportunities for volunteering.

“The beauty of the community gardens is that they’re for everyone. Ultimately, the aim is to help people right across Lanarkshire develop a deeper connection with nature and the many green spaces we have across the area.

“We really want to raise awareness of the garden as a useful community area for members of the public and community groups to participate in green health activities. We know that these kinds of activities can have a great benefit for our physical and mental health and the gardens are a great way to explore and experience these benefits.

“I was so encouraged to see a real mix of people taking part in the activities and visiting the stalls to see what mental health supports are out there or learning more about the range of benefits that stem from volunteering.”

Ruth McElhinney, community development manager, CCI Scotland, said: “CCI is delighted to have been working with NHS Lanarkshire as part of the Lanarkshire Green Health Partnership project.

“The opening of the King George V Garden is the latest collaborative project which showcases the skills and dedication of the many volunteers involved. Green Health has been well proven to improve the mental health and wellbeing of those taking part.”

Organised by NHS Lanarkshire’s Wishaw Locality Health Improvement Team, the garden aims to host a wide range of organisations and community groups. People can volunteer to work in the garden through self-referral to CCI Scotland by emailing

Keen volunteers can also be referred by a health or social care professional or voluntary sector organisation.

Other local organisations and community groups can also bring groups down to the garden to utilise the space and also to do some gardening based on recommendations from CCI who look after it weekly.
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