A stunning new garden space designed and built in collaboration with staff, patients and families of patients of the Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Alexandra Hospital has officially opened.

The idea for the new HALO Gardens originated with staff from the ICU, who wanted to develop a space to honour organ donors and those affected by COVID-19 and provide users of the service with an accessible and welcoming outdoor area.

The project has delivered a series of small, intimate garden spaces for the use of the ICU. These spaces include seating and plants, and offer sanctuary and social space that is socially distanced, yet comfortable and accessible for patients, staff and visitors.

Erz Landscape Architects have delivered the project, working alongside volunteers from within and beyond the hospital community, coordinated by the Renfrewshire Environment Trust.

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HALO Gardens were conceived in lockdown. They are our communal experience of the COVID 19 pandemic. Social distancing is one of our greatest tools against the spread of the virus, but is also frightening and isolating. HALO (Healthworkers and Loved Ones) Gardens allow us to celebrate the importance of distance as well as commemorating those we lose, and the efforts people make to support each other. HALO Gardens are intimate and beautiful outdoor sanctuaries where families and friends can meet safely - designed with the people they are for, using the language of plants to share stories.

HALO Gardens are an investment in the future, in green recovery and in community.

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