Friends Of Ward 15 Blossom With Their Hanging Baskets

Friends of Ward 15 blossom as they make up hanging baskets

The exterior of Ward 15 at the Downshire Hospital has been adorned with beautiful hanging baskets, thanks to the Friends of Ward 15, a vital support group in Downpatrick.

For the past fifty years, the Friends of Ward 15, who are former patients, give hope and essential support to anyone with addictions.

Creating hanging baskets is just one type of therapeutic support which moves beyond traditional room-based meetings, helping to create more meaningful engagement and conversations.

By facilitating support groups and creative activities, these former patients are uniquely positioned to empathise and motivate current patients.

Friends of Ward 15 pot up hanging baskets which they find very therapeutic.

Planting hanging baskets has encouraged patients to connect with nature and with each other, providing a creative and calming space. 

The patients also love watching their handy work blossom around the unit for many months over the summer period. 

The Friends of Ward 15 have very kindly provided the plants and baskets allowing the patients to take part in this therapeutic activity.

Highlighting the benefits of therapeutic support, Peer Support Worker with The Friends of Ward 15, Jim Mageean said: “The patients love getting involved in planting the baskets. 

Jim Mageean, Peer Support Worker at Ward 15 based at the Downshire Estate in Downpatrick, with a geranium ready for popping into a hanging basket.

“Over the next few months, the patients will come down and they will take pride and be able to pinpoint exactly which basket they planted! 

“It is a great way to keep them engaged and to keep them coming back for support. We are sitting around the table planting and chatting.

“I have always said, as far as addictions are concerned, recovery is based on dialogue!  You are getting them involved and getting them to engage in conversation.”

Praising the support of The Friends of Ward 15, Ward Manager, Paul Watterson added: “Activities such as basket planting are of great benefit to patients within the Ward 15 environment. 

“It is part of the bigger picture. Part of their recovery plan is to try and visualise how they are going to live their life in recovery and sobriety. 

“A big part of that is filling their time with productive, meaningful activities.

“We are very grateful to the Friends of Ward 15 for their ongoing support and dedication over the years.  I have nothing but admiration and gratitude for them.”