Horticultural help for heroes

Horticultural students from Oatridge College in West Lothian are to be offered the chance to use their talents to help in the rehabilitation of service personnel seriously injured in Afghanistan and other war zones.
Thomas Meenagh from Cumbernauld, a lecturer at Oatridge, whose soldier son Scott was injured in an improvised bomb explosion in Helmand Province, hopes that his own students and others will get involved.
The idea came to Thomas earlier this month when he visited Headley Court rehabilitation centre at Epsom in Surrey, to give advice on how horticulture can be used to help with rehabilitation. After being “volunteered” by his son, he spent three days demonstrating gardening techniques to injured patients and their occupational therapists, and helped to get onsite greenhouses ready for use.
He then learned of plans to extend the existing facilities: “They’ve got a site which they want developed into an activity garden for the patients to improve their mobility skills and suggested it might have potential as a student project,” says Thomas. “I’m thinking that I could get Oatridge horticultural students to do the design work, because logistically it would be difficult to get them down there to do the building, so maybe other students could get involved in that.”
The project is at an early stage, but already Thomas has full backing from Oatridge for his involvement. “The Principal, David James, and all the team leaders want the College to do its bit for these guys,” he says.
Anyone interested in helping with the Headley Court activity garden project can contact Thomas Meenagh
(Picture: Thomas Meenagh (Right), who wants his horticulture students at Oatridge College to design an activity garden for injured military personnel)

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