From the archives …
Here is an extract from ‘The Paper’ published around the time of the 50th anniversary of the NHS in 1998 which mentions horticultural activity at Llanfrechfa Grange Hospital.
Warm Welcome for Chair … Llanfrechfa Grange day services shows what it can do
“A friendly greeting from Llanfrechfa Grange day services workers, staff and service users welcomed our chairman, councillor Peter Law on his recent service tour. Liz Betteridge, day services co-ordinator was pleased to have an opportunity to show just how much our day services for people with a learning disability can do.
The chairman’s tour took in the events on Plantation villa where residents and service users get involved in a wide variety of activities. The chairman was delighted to witness the range of opportunities available at the villa including indoor horticulture, dram therapy, painting, crafts, cookery, photography and a ‘Snoozelan’ room.
In less than ideal facilities the staff have developed not only the ‘Snoozelan’ but also a photographic darkroom and cooking facilities. Moving on to Gwent Community Industries, the chairman took time to chat with all the people who work there, both Trust staff and those busy weaving, renovating old furniture, making soft toys and packing Christmas decorations.
A small but very attractively arranged shop is ready to take your cash, right inside Gwent Community Industries (GCI). Painted furniture, trays, dolls, hat boxes and a whole host of brightly-coloured products await your visit.
Potting was in full swing in the greenhouse in the walled garden behind GCI whilst Tony Binnell was hard at work digging. Here in this secluded garden, people with a learning disability can take part in any aspect of horticulture from sowing and potting right through to harvesting.”
In 1998, Llanfrechfa Grange was part of Glan Hafren and soon to be Gwent Healthcare Trust. The then Chairman Peter Law went on to represent Blaenau Gwent as AM and MP.