Ark-funded garden springs into life at wellbeing centre

A HAVEN of calm and colour – this is the inspirational and uplifting garden environment that has been created for cancer patients and their loved ones at a new wellbeing centre.

In just a few weeks, the interior and exterior garden areas of the Ark Cancer Centre Charity-funded wellbeing centre at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital have been transformed into beautifully landscaped areas.

A team of professionals and volunteers led by Tania Brookes, who runs Tania Brookes Garden Design, have created the landscaped gardens at the centre, which is part of the Radiotherapy Unit in Basingstoke.

The wellbeing centre has been funded by Ark Cancer Centre Charity, which is raising £5million to help Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) colleagues deliver supportive care and complementary therapies in a cancer treatment centre that will be part of the new hospital to be built in the Basingstoke area in the second half of this decade.

The 2021 opening of the Ark-funded wellbeing centre, which features counselling and complementary therapy facilities, will be a significant milestone on the journey to the new cancer treatment centre.

Tania said: “The aim is to create calming and colourful garden areas which reflect the mood of the inside of the supportive care centre, and they feature Japanese and Mediterranean influences.

“We have installed porcelain-tiled areas with raised planters, and most of the plants have come from local suppliers. The garden areas feature good strong colours, and there is an evergreen structure to the whole environment.”

A key feature of the interior garden will be the ‘Jane Talk’ bookbench. This was donated to Ark Cancer Centre Charity by The Rotary Club of Basingstoke Deane after club members sponsored and then purchased it at the auction which marked the grand finale of the 2017 Sitting With Jane public art bookbench trail.

A team of volunteers will be involved in the care and upkeep of the garden areas, which will change in appearance with the passing seasons.

Ark Cancer Centre Charity trustee Merv Rees said: “Thank you so much to Tania and the team who have been involved in the creation of the beautifully landscaped garden areas at the wellbeing centre.

“The transformation that has taken place in just a few weeks is stunning, and it is wonderful to see the end result – uplifting and inspirational areas that will provide the people who use the centre with a quiet space to relax in, and enjoy looking at.

“These landscaped garden areas contribute to the overall goal of creating a tranquil setting in which to provide the supportive services and complementary therapies that will be so beneficial to the people who use the centre.”

Merv added: “Thank you so much to Ark Cancer Centre Charity supporters whose donations have made the creation of the wellbeing e centre possible. Everyone involved is looking forward to the completion of the centre in the near future.”