Students celebrate green-fingered success
Student volunteers from the University of Southampton will be celebrating the successful completion of a two-year gardening project next week, with the official opening of the renovated Manor House Garden in Mansbridge Road, West End, on Wednesday, 11 May.
The Manor House provides accommodation for out-of-town patients receiving treatment at the radiotherapy departments at the Royal South Hants Hospital and Southampton General. In May 2003 students from the Student Community Action group of Southampton University Students' Union were awarded just under £9,000 by the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers to revamp and revitalize the Manor House gardens, as part of its People's Places scheme.
The newly renovated garden will be opened by Student Community Action patron Sylvia Wakeham, wife of University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bill Wakeham. The Sheriff of Southampton, Councillor Edwina Cooke, will also be attending the opening.
Mrs Wakeham commented: "The students have worked over and above all expectations in the past two years and have achieved spectacular results. With 2005 being the Year of the Volunteer and the theme for May being the environment, it is timely that the garden is opening now.
"Through the commitment of the students involved and their willingness to volunteer their time and hard work, the residents of the Manor House now have a refurbished garden which is designed to encourage social interaction and reduce the social isolation that some patients may experience being away from home."
Most of the people who stay at the Manor House are from the Channel Islands and Isle of Wight. The project has also encouraged patient participation, helping to bring together people with and without disability, promoting a greater understanding of disability and the impact it has on people's lives. By encouraging wildlife it has provided a pleasant retreat for all users.
Notes for editors
The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University has around 20,000 students and nearly 5000 staff. Its annual turnover is in the region of £270 million.