Her Majesty The Queen Will Visit Aberdeen
Friday, 29th September, 2017
Her Majesty The Queen will open the Robertson Family Roof Garden
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Foresterhill, Aberdeen
On arrival at the Matthew Hay Building (Emergency Care Centre), Her Majesty will be met by Councillor Barney Crockett, Lord Provost and Lord Lieutenant for Aberdeen, and representatives of NHS Grampian including Reverend James Falconer, Healthcare Chaplain and project lead for the Roof Garden. The Queen will also meet the Garden’s architect and designers as well as staff, volunteers, former patients and fundraisers. Her Majesty will meet representatives of the Robertson family and gardeners in the therapeutic Roof Garden and view the unveiling of a silhouette feature in the Garden. Reverend Falconer will lead a prayer of dedication after Her Majesty unveils a plaque to open the Robertson Family Roof Garden.
The Robertson Family Roof Garden is a unique and exciting garden space in the heart of Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. The garden exists to provide easy access to outside space that is constructed and planted to be safe, comforting and invigorating. It allows patients, relatives, visitors and staff the opportunity to engage and interact with a range of growing plants, grasses, and trees, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It also provides shelter, glass, light, visual effects and the chance to move out of the heat of a ward or a clinic environment to feel fresh air, wind – and even rain – and experience external daylight and professionally designed lighting.
The exciting plan for this transformative space began in 2012 when Rev. James Falconer, Healthcare Chaplain, having listened to many patient stories, began looking for outside space to take trauma patients in their beds. There was, at that time, no place available. Through his vision, drive, energy and determination, combined with the enthusiasm and support from many others, the Robertson Family Roof Garden came to being.
With amazing generosity, in 2013, the Royal Bank of Canada offered their entire gold medal winning RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden, designed by Professor Nigel Dunnett, to NHS Grampian. Professor Dunnett redesigned the garden so that a very unwell patient, fully ventilated, in the intensive care unit, can go outside. It is accessible to wheelchair users and those with portable equipment. Patients with sensory impairments, including light sensitivities, can enjoy and benefit from the surroundings. It is used by children and adults. In short it is available to everyone, whatever their condition, needs or circumstances.
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and the Foresterhill site, which includes the University of Aberdeen Medical School, deliver state of the art facilities and technological advances in healthcare for the local population and for people from across the mainland and the islands of the north of Scotland.
This unique garden space, at the heart of the largest health campus in Europe, complements these technological advances by ensuring that patients can experience the peace and tranquillity of space and air, with widely evidenced benefits to recovery and rehabilitation, at the same time as the best possible medical and surgical interventions.
The garden is of particular physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefit to critically ill and long term adults and children, in particular for those recovering from trauma and for those facing the future after a life changing or life limiting diagnosis.
The Robertson Family Roof Garden was funded entirely by fundraising. Rev Falconer led the fundraising effort and successfully raised over £667,000 to enable his vision to become a reality. Individuals and communities, churches, Brownies, Guides, WRIs, Rotaries and hundreds more contributed. A range of Trusts, families and grant giving bodies gave a significant amount. Many people reflected on the benefits that the garden could have brought their loved ones. The kindness and generosity of people who wanted to help was overwhelming. Funds are also in place to maintain and develop the garden going forwards and the garden is now maintained by a former National Trust for Scotland Head Gardener
The hope is that this garden will lead to ‘green space’ being part of future new build design on the Foresterhill site and to the re-development of green spaces in other NHS Grampian sites. Planning for a staff garden on the site is already underway, reflecting a desire to value staff as much as patients.
Her Majesty The Queen, Patron, will visit Sue Ryder Dee View Court
Caiesdykes Road, Kincorth, Aberdeen
Her Majesty The Queen, Patron, will visit Sue Ryder Dee View Court where she will meet trustees, staff and residents during a tour of the neurological care centre. The Centre Director, Ms Valerie Maxwell, will give Her Majesty a short overview of the work of the care centre before the tour begins and during the visit Her Majesty will see residents’ rooms, view some of the activities at the centre and meet staff and residents. Her Majesty will see images from a photography exhibition before meeting appeal board members and supporters in the gallery room. The Queen will be invited, by the appeal board chairman, Mr Trevor Garlick OBE, to place a letter inside a time capsule before signing a photograph and the Dee View Court visitors’ book.
Founded in 1953, Sue Ryder is a national health and social care charity providing compassionate hospice and neurological care across the UK. It does this throughout its 7 hospices; 5 neurological care centres; community-based services and in people’s own homes. Sue Ryder offers a range of personalised care, advice, education and support services in local communities to help improve the lives of individuals – including their carers and families – with conditions such as cancer; heart failure; respiratory failure; dementia; acquired brain injury; multiple sclerosis; Huntington’s disease; Parkinson’s disease and Motor Neurone disease. In order to continue to provide and develop its range of invaluable services, Sue Ryder relies predominantly on income from its retail shops, fundraising activities and generous donations from members of the public.
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