Skip to main content

Award highlights efforts made for wildlife and wellbeing

Image shows a group of men standing in a line

Creating live nature links, developing green spaces and helping wildlife flourish has earned Swansea Bay national recognition for boosting the wellbeing of staff, patients and volunteers.

The health board collaborated with National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW), Swansea University and Natural Resources Wales with the aim of improving the physical and mental wellbeing of its population and increasing biodiversity.

Image shows two men standing next to a sculpture A number of projects have been delivered, including planting 4,000 trees and shrubs across health board sites along with developing areas for wildlife and bringing them to hospitals via a live broadcast.

These successes would not have been possible without staff and volunteers giving up their free time.

In turn, it has had a hugely positive effort on them and patients.

PICTURED: Gardening Maintenance Assistants Christian Berndsen (left) and James Davies.

The success of the projects has not gone unnoticed, with the health board winning a staff wellbeing award at an event in Manchester.

Leading the project for the health board has been the Estates department, which has more than 140 staff ranging from tradespeople, fitters, carpenters, electricians, semi-skilled staff, chartered engineers, officers and managers.

Howard Stevens, Estates Technical Services Manager, said: “For the past four years we have engaged in an unique collaboration with NBGW, Swansea University and Natural Resources Wales which has developed several projects all with the purpose of improving biodiversity and benefiting the wellbeing of staff, patients and volunteers.

“As a health board, we have a legal duty to maintain and enhance biodiversity, along with promoting the resilience of ecosystems, under the Environment (Wales) Act. So we identified 51 areas within the health board which were utilised as focal points for community co-developed green infrastructure projects. Our staff, along with volunteers, worked closely with NBGW’s Biophilic Wales project staff.”

Mark Humphreys, Estates Assistant Technical Service Officer, added: “Last year we set up live nature cameras, which broadcasted footage of hedgehogs, bees and birds from NBGW to Cefn Coed Hospital and Ty Olwen in Morriston. That has benefitted the mental health and wellbeing of our patients and staff.

“We have also transformed courtyards in Gorseinon and Morriston hospitals into beautiful gardens which bring peace and tranquillity to everyone within the hospital setting. It has proved very successful and popular with everyone in those settings.”

Image shows a group of men standing in a line

Each project has culminated in national recognition, with Swansea Bay enjoying success at the Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estates Management (IHEEM) annual function.

The awards recognise excellence in the latest innovations, projects, teams and individuals from the NHS and leading names in the healthcare engineering and EFM sector. The awards are judged by experts with extensive experience and achievements within the NHS and commercial healthcare sector.

PICTURED: (From left) Des Keighan, Mark Humphreys, Richard Thomas, Andrew Stevens, James Mackay, Howard Stevens, Damian Lewis and Tony Morris from the health board's Estates department.

The health board landed the Staff Wellbeing Initiative of the Year award, which recognises an initiative or programme introduced to ensure the wellbeing and mental health of its team.

To cap off a successful event, the health board was also highly commended in the Sustainable Achievement category.

Des Keighan, Assistant Director of Estates, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised as a department and health board for the excellent, innovative work that has been done to increase the wellbeing of our staff, patients and volunteers.

“We recognise the importance that biophilia has on our wellbeing, and that is reflective in the projects we’ve carried out on a number of our sites.

“While the award highlights the excellent work we have done as a department, we are constantly looking at new ways to build on this success and continue to boost the wellbeing of our population.”

Rydym yn croesawu gohebiaeth a galwadau ffôn yn y Gymraeg neu'r Saesneg. Atebir gohebiaeth Gymraeg yn y Gymraeg, ac ni fydd hyn yn arwain at oedi. Mae’r dudalen hon ar gael yn Gymraeg drwy bwyso’r botwm ar y dde ar frig y dudalen.

We welcome correspondence and telephone calls in Welsh or English. Welsh language correspondence will be replied to in Welsh, and this will not lead to a delay. This page is available in Welsh by clicking ‘Cymraeg’ at the top right of this page.