Solent NHS Trust has saluted Girl Guides' green-fingered support in creating a wellbeing garden at Western Community Hospital.

The four-year friendship, forged during the pandemic's onset, was hailed by Trust Chief Angela Anderson and Rainbow Leader Sallyann Smith.

The pair acknowledged the value of outdoor areas for physical and mental health. The tranquil zone, part of a larger hospital transformation at the site in William Macleod Way, Southampton, was funded by NHS Charities Together.

The South England Rehabilitation Centre, opening this Autumn, will also utilise the garden.

Angela Anderson said: "It has been lovely to build this relationship with these Girl Guides and to see how the wellbeing garden has flourished in that time too.

"I really enjoyed helping the girls this week plant a bunch of bright, springtime flowers which will be appreciated by patients, visitors and members of staff."

Soph Strickland, guide leader for 3rd Test Guide group, said: "It’s great being back with the Guides again, to plant our latest design, and this year we chose to use our promise badge as the centre piece. We then added the colours of the rainbow around it.

"We hope that it will provide a colour display, to both staff and patients. Part of the Guide promise is to serve the community and this ongoing project just highlights this. The relationship has grown over the years between the two organisations, and we were lucky enough to have someone from the 350+ team come and join us last term where we meet to talk to the girls about different careers in the NHS."

Western Community Hospital is based in Southampton and cares for people with a functional mental illness.

A new ‘centre of excellence’ for rehabilitation worth £21m is set to be completed at the hospital in July.

Set across three floors, the new wing will provide 50-beds - creating vital space at the Royal South Hants Hospital in Brinton Terrace.

By moving the patients from the hospital to the new wing, it is hoped that recovery times will be improved as well as enhanced across both sites.