Over the past 6 months the Bellinger Health Action Group (BHAG) volunteer gardening group have been re-vamping the outdoor area of Hartley House. This is a covered & uncovered area overlooking the Arboretum where patients can be moved to breathe some fresh air, enjoy the sun & wildlife, socialise with each other, their friends & family & participate in weekly BBQ’s that the staff organise – a real home away from home in an ‘outdoor room’.
The overgrown gardens have been weeded, pruned & re-planted. The outdoor concrete & step/ ramp areas have been water pressure cleaned & the brass commemorative plaques dating back to 1978 re-polished & lacquered. A BBQ & outdoor furniture was purchased by the hospital & terracotta planter boxes filled with flowering plants.
One of the BHAG volunteers had a vision that the ugly brick wall adjacent to this outdoor area needed a facelift. Jodie approached the high school and with great enthusiasm a small number of Bellingen High School students undertook a project late last year to design & make a selection of beautiful & striking wall hung mosaics under the guidance of Lynda Dalton & their teacher Fiona McAulay. With the encouragement from their principal Bob Stockton and the support by the hospital this project proceeded.
Before the mosaics could be hung it was agreed that the ugly brick wall had to be painted in an appropriate colour to showcase the artwork. Bellingen Rotary Club volunteered their labour to assist the BHAG gardening group to paint the wall over two days & the Coffs Harbour Dulux store donated the paint.
In the meantime the Bellingen Men’s Shed built two timber frames to house two twin concrete laundry tubs. They are at two different heights so that patients either standing or in wheelchairs can access them to grow & nurture herbs etc.
On Monday 13th February we all came together to celebrate this community based project with a breakfast BBQ in the re-vamped ‘Outdoor Room’.
Without the assistance & cooperation of everyone involved this project could not have proceeded. Thank you to everyone involved.
Next time you visit the hospital wander up the walkway to Hartley House & view the work that has been done by your community. You will not be disappointed.
Barbara Moore (Vice Chair BHAG)