A group of volunteers restoring the heritage orchard at Bethlem Royal Hospital. They have wheelbarrows and spades, and one is digging a hole.
Volunteers restoring the heritage orchard at Bethlem Royal Hospital. Photo: Bethlem Royal Hospital.

A Green Thought in a Green Shade

Online symposium – free event
Saturday 9 September, 2023
2pm – 3pm

Join us virtually in the green spaces of Bethlem Royal Hospital to think about what links art, nature and mental health.

Our exhibition ‘Elsewhere’ interrogates the idea of public space – how we can use creativity to move beyond closed and restricted spaces to spaces of radical openness. To celebrate the final day of this exhibition, join us for an online discussion, live from the Bethlem Royal Hospital Therapy Garden, with Sergio Heredero and Billy Styles. Places are free but limited so please sign up via the form.

Sergio Heredero is a Horticultural Therapist at the hospital. Through a Maudsley Charity Grant, the Occupational Therapy (OT) Garden at Bethlem Royal Hospital is able to provide gardening sessions to patients, giving them time off the ward in a supported environment. The project enables patients and staff to connect with nature, grow vegetables and engage with wildlife. There has been an OT garden on site in some form since the hospital moved here in 1930.

Billy Styles is a Nature Recovery Ranger at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre. Before joining the team at the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, Billy managed the food growing and green space community engagement program at Stepney City Farm, designing the space around permaculture principles, including increasing biodiversity and community interaction, structured around economically viable solutions. Billy’s background is in Art (BA) Sports Science (BSc) and Sustainable Urbanism (MA) and he has lived in Spain, Germany, Japan and China. Whether it be science or art focused, throughout his journey he has always been inspired and fascinated by nature and is constantly learning more about the interconnectivity of this beautiful world.

You can read more about the restoration of Bethlem Royal Hospital’s orchard, lead by Head of Occupational Therapy Peter O’Hare, here. Peter was supported in the development of the grounds by Bromley Council’s Environmental Officers.

This event runs alongside Open House 2023 tours delivered as part of This is Croydon, London Borough of Culture, with the support of the Mayor of London and Croydon Council.

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