715. Olivia Chapple
A dedicated mother is bringing her son’s vision to life to help people with spinal injuries.
Dr Olivia Chapple, from Salisbury, founded ‘Horatio’s Garden’ to create accessible gardens in NHS spinal injury centres. Olivia founded the charity in memory of her son, Horatio, who tragically died during a school trip to Svalbard when he was 17. Horatio was a volunteer at the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre in Salisbury and had long talked about his desire to make a garden to provide a space for patients and their families to relax and reflect.
Following his death, donations flooded in for his garden to be created. Olivia used research Horatio had undertaken as a starting point for the design brief to acclaimed designer Cleve West who created the first garden at the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre in Salisbury. Following its success, the team intends to create gardens at all the regional spinal injury centres in the UK. One garden has already opened at the Scottish National Spinal Injuries Unit, Glasgow and another is due to open at the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital later this year.
In a personal letter to Olivia, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“The beautiful gardens you have created are having a positive impact on people being treated for spinal cord injuries and are a wonderful tribute to Horatio’s memory. By making peaceful and serene places for patients and their families, you are providing them with much needed respite from being in hospital.”
“I am thrilled to accept this award on behalf of all the volunteers who work so hard to make Horatio’s Garden thrive. The charity was inspired by the ideas Horatio had as a young volunteer and his research formed the founding principle of the charity to create and care for beautiful accessible gardens in NHS spinal injury centres. Our volunteer team make such a huge difference to patients who are facing life changing injuries and long stays in hospitals. I do hope this will encourage more people to volunteer for Horatio’s Garden.”