A LEGEND of Welsh rugby Sir Gareth Edwards has lent a hand at a new garden at University Hospital Llandough in Cardiff.

Designed by two-time RHS Chelsea Gold Medal winner Sarah Price,
Horatio’s Garden Wales will soon be helping people affected by spinal cord injury

Sir Gareth Edwards this week joined with the mammoth voluntary planting effort underway on the site of the soon-to-open Horatio’s Garden Wales.

“Having spent a lifetime playing, watching and supporting rugby, I know having a Horatio’s Garden would have meant a lot to many friends who have experienced spinal injuries whilst playing the beloved game,” he said.

The rugby legend, and Horatio’s Garden Wales appeal patron, is currently appearing in the BBC One Cymru series Gareth Edwards’ Great Welsh Adventures.

While his afternoon at University Hospital Llandough in Cardiff was decidedly calmer than his recent rally driving antics, Sir Gareth certainly appeared to enjoy his time supporting the charity just as much.

"It is a privilege to be involved in this project," he said.

Funded entirely by donations, Horatio’s Garden is a charity creating and nurturing beautiful, fully accessible gardens in NHS spinal injury centres to support patients, their loved ones and NHS staff affected by spinal cord injury.

Horatio’s Garden Wales will be the charity’s sixth project to date, with Cardiff & Vale University Health Board inviting Horatio’s Garden to establish one of their stunning sanctuaries in the capital as part of the University Hospital Llandough redevelopment project.

The garden has been designed by two-time RHS Chelsea Gold Medal winner Sarah Price and is currently being brought to life at the new, purpose-built Welsh Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Centre, the only spinal centre in the country.

“It was an absolute pleasure to see Horatio’s Garden Wales coming alive,” said former patient, Amanda Harris.

“The team are doing amazing work.”

As there are only 11 regional NHS spinal injury centres across the UK, the majority of people affected by spinal cord injury face spending upwards of a month in hospital often far from home, their families and their friends.

The garden is therefore destined to be a home away from home.

It will be somewhere for people to retreat to and reflect in a quiet moment.

The hope is that the garden will be ready to welcome patients in spring 2022.

To donate, become a volunteer or find out more about Horatio’s Garden Wales, visit horatiosgarden.org.uk/wales