GREEN-fingered staff on Ward One at Airedale Hospital have won The Friends of Airedale Courtyard Garden Competition.

The competition was held with the aim of improving courtyard spaces around the hospital to enhance the environment for patients and visitors.

The Ward One team transformed the courtyard area outside their wing from a wilderness into a landscape of colour and calm – and won £200 in garden centre vouchers for doing so.

Keen gardener Chrisseen Platt, a facilities assistant, along with discharge co-ordinator Adele Wattam and ward manager Sophie Crabtree accepted the prize from chairman of the judging panel John Lofthouse, a volunteer with the Friends of Airedale.

A total of 11 teams entered their courtyards into the competition, made possible thanks to a funding initiative from the Co-op. Hospital staff teams looking after courtyard areas around the hospital were invited to apply for a grant of £165 from the FoA and encouraged to enter the competition.

John said: “We saw a lot of great ideas and imaginative use of plants and materials across the different courtyards but were particularly impressed with the efforts of the team from Ward One. As well as the grant they received from us, the team had proactively gone out and got local businesses to donate compost, logs, a bench and tubs and, with some imaginative use of old pallets, managed to transform an area that had been a complete wilderness into a very attractive space.”

Chrisseen added: “The courtyard had looked very sad and unloved when we took it on, so the first thing we did was to get it all completely cleared out before coming up with a plan for what we wanted to do with it.

“Thanks to the Friends of Airedale grant and donated goods from a number of local businesses we have been able to create an area which looks really appealing. The prize money will enable us to do even more – we want to buy more compost, bulbs for Spring, some perennials and more bark. We can’t wait to get going on that.”

Friends of Airedale is a group of volunteers dedicated to supporting Airedale General Hospital by undertaking a number of roles within the hospital and in the community. It also raises money to buy equipment to benefit patients and – in the past – has donated between £150,000 to £200,000 worth of equipment and services to the Airedale NHS Foundation Trust each year.