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29 September 2017

NHS Grampian Welcomes Her Majesty The Queen

Her Majesty The Queen today formally opened a unique healthcare garden in Aberdeen which is aimed at providing a safe, comforting, professionally designed outside space for patients in hospital.
The Robertson Family Roof Garden is situated at the heart of the biggest healthcare site in Europe, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
Her Majesty formally opened the garden during the visit on Friday by unveiling a commemorative plaque in front of hundreds of assembled patients, relatives, staff, volunteers and major donors to the project. A specially commissioned silhouette of Balmoral Castle has also been installed in the garden to mark the occasion.
NHS Grampian Chairman Stephen Logan said the health board is fortunate to have a long, proud history of visits from members of the Royal Family - most recently, Her Majesty The Queen opened the Emergency Care Centre at ARI in 2013.
"We are absolutely thrilled that Her Majesty was able to come and formally open the Robertson Family Roof Garden. The support of Her Majesty and other members of the Royal Family is an enormous privilege and is something we are hugely grateful for.
"The garden was only possible because of the extraordinary generosity of a host of people across the North East as well as further afield. Today's opening is a testament to their support. We are also indebted to the huge number of volunteers who have given up their own time to help get us to this point."
The garden exists to provide easy access to outside space which allows patients the chance to engage and interact with a range of growing plants, grasses, and trees - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The idea for the garden originated in 2012 when Rev. James Falconer, Healthcare Chaplain at NHS Grampian, began looking for outside space to take trauma patients in their beds.
Rev. Falconer has helped drive the planning, fundraising and construction of the garden over the last 5 years.
"We are really proud of the garden, it's a fantastic space and, thanks to the overwhelming support we've received, far exceeds the initial idea," he said. "Most of all though, we are proudest to see the difference it's already making for people at the hospital.
"It's a unique space at the heart of one of the biggest healthcare site in Europe which offers some of our most unwell patients the chance to move out of the heat of a ward or a clinic to the outside so they can feel fresh air, wind and, of course, even rain!
"It is of particular physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefit to critically ill and long-term adults and children, especially those recovering from trauma or facing the future after a life changing or life limiting diagnosis."
The Robertson Family Roof Garden was constructed entirely through donations. Rev Falconer led the fundraising effort which generated an astonishing 667,000 with donations from individuals, communities, churches, Brownies, Guides, WRIs, Rotary Clubs, banks, sporting clubs and hundreds more.
The garden receives ongoing support from the Friends of The Robertson Family Roof Garden and Rev Falconer confirmed that funds are now in place to help maintain and develop the garden.
Professor Logan added: "The hope is that this garden will lead to 'green space' being part of the future at Foresterhill and to the re-development of green spaces in other NHS Grampian sites. We are also investigating the possibility of constructing a garden for staff at Foresterhill that will provide a respite for them and a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily business on this site."
If you would like to support the future of the Robertson Family Roof Garden you can register as a Friend by making a 10 donation.
Application forms are available,click this link to access a pdf copy, alternatively contact nhsg.ariroofgarden@nhs.net or call 01224 553316 if you would like a copy to be sent to you.