Best Trowel Forward as New Head Gardener Appointed Thanks to Baxter International Foundation Grant

Press Release
  • The third Horatio’s Garden is due to open to patients and visitors at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 10 weeks.  

  • Baxter International Foundation grant funds new Head Gardener post for 2 years.

  • Garden enables a tranquil setting to aid patients’ recovery during long hospital stays

Horatio's Garden Thumbnail

Work is well underway to get the new garden planted; (left to right) Joe Swift, Garden Designer, Dr Olivia Chapple, Chair of Trustees Horatio’s Garden, Jacqui Martin-Lof, Head Gardener at Stoke Mandeville and Emma Wierzbicki, Baxter.


COMPTON, UK - April 30, 2018

Planting has now begun in earnest at the new Horatio’s Garden at Stoke Mandeville Hospital following on from the appointment of the Head Gardener, funded by a grant from the Baxter International Foundation. Jacqui Martin-Lof, has been appointed to manage the third garden in the post funded by a grant of approximately £44,000, which will fund the role for the next 2 years.

Horatio’s Garden is a charity that creates and lovingly cares for beautiful accessible gardens in NHS spinal injury centres. This third garden builds on the success of the two existing gardens based in Salisbury and Glasgow, where leading garden designers have helped to create stunning sanctuaries for patients, their families and friends, providing an environment which becomes an integral part of their lives and care whilst spending many months in hospital.

The Head Gardener role will lead the team of volunteers at the garden at Stoke Mandeville, they will keep the garden looking beautiful and will help to run activities for patients. The new garden is anticipated to open in July.

Dr Olivia Chapple, Chair of Trustees at Horatio’s Garden, commented: “We are thrilled and honoured to have received such a generous grant from The Baxter International Foundation which has enabled us to appoint our fantastic new Head Gardener. May I also thank all the Baxter employees for their marvellous fundraising over the last two years with the most enterprising, innovative ideas and energy. We look forward to welcoming you to the garden and give our thanks from all the patients who will enjoy this garden for years to come.”

‘‘Baxter and The Baxter International Foundation are committed to making a meaningful difference in the communities where our employees live and work. We are delighted to support Horatio’s Garden through a Foundation grant, employee fundraising and volunteerism to aid in their mission of providing therapeutic surroundings for patients to aid their recovery and provide a valuable outdoor space that they can use with family and friends.’’ said Andy Goldney, General Manager, Baxter UK, Ireland and Nordic.

About Baxter and the Baxter International Foundation

Baxter and The Baxter International Foundation are committed to saving and sustaining lives and creating healthier communities. Every day, Baxter employees strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people who depend on Baxter products, and in the communities where employees live and work. The company focuses on three core areas including improving access to healthcare; fostering tomorrow’s innovation and serving its communities. Baxter works closely with public and private partners around the world to ensure people have access to the healthcare they need, to develop the next generation of innovators who will lead the way in advancing care, and to create long-lasting impact in Baxter’s communities. The Baxter International Foundation supports initiatives and organisations that make a positive, lasting impact on increasing access to healthcare for the disadvantaged and underserved.

About Baxter in the UK

Baxter provides a broad portfolio of essential healthcare products across its portfolio, including acute and chronic dialysis therapies; sterile IV solutions; infusion systems and devices; parenteral nutrition therapies; inhaled anaesthetics; generic injectable pharmaceuticals; and surgical haemostat and sealant products. The company’s global footprint and the critical nature of its products and services play a key role in expanding access to healthcare in emerging and developed countries. Baxter’s employees worldwide are building upon the company’s rich heritage of medical breakthroughs to advance the next generation of healthcare innovations that enable patient care.

About Horatio’s Garden

Horatio’s Garden is an award-winning charity that creates and cares for, beautiful gardens in NHS spinal injury centres. Leading garden designers develop the stunning sanctuaries for patients and their family and friends, creating an environment which becomes an integral part of their lives and care whilst spending many months in hospital.

The first Horatio’s Garden opened in 2012 at the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment at Salisbury Hospital. Designed by award-winner, Cleve West, Horatio’s Garden has transformed the patients’ hospital stays. Patients were previously confined to the ward but can now find some much-needed solace in an oasis of planting even in their hospital beds. They can take part in activities in the garden organised by the charity, including art therapy and music concerts. Just having a quiet moment, or a cup of tea and a slice of homemade cake in the garden, with family or friends, can be such a tonic.

The second Horatio’s Garden, designed by James Alexander-Sinclair, opened in August 2016 at the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit in Glasgow which cares for patients from across Scotland. The garden has already transformed life in the spinal unit.

Joe Swift has designed the third Horatio’s Garden at The National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital which is currently under construction. The spinal centre cares for 150 newly injured patients each year including teenagers and children. The project will create a main garden, a garden room, greenhouse and a children’s garden for young people with spinal cord injuries.

The charity is currently also working with The Midlands Centre for Spinal Injuries at Oswestry which treat people from a wide geographical region from North Wales to the Wirral, Shropshire and Cheshire. Bunny Guinness has designed the garden for this centre and 80% of the funds needed have been raised.

The charity’s fifth project will be Horatio’s Garden London at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. Tom Stuart-Smith is working with architect Stephen Marshall to design a garden haven for patients.

The charity is currently aiming to bring Horatio’s Gardens to the UK’s 11 regional specialist spinal injury centres.