Ulster players Rob Baloucoune, Matty Rea and Sean Reffell, together with CEO Jonny Petrie and Branch President Philip Gregg, joined patients, families, friends and NHS staff at the Spinal Cord Injuries Unit in Belfast recenty to celebrate the start of work by the club’s charity partner.
The visit to Musgrave Park Hospital marked the start of work on the charity’s seventh project, which has been designed by nine-time RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal winning designer Andy Sturgeon.
CEO Jonny Petrie, Branch President Philip Gregg, and Ulster players Rob Baloucoune, Matty Rea and Sean Reffell joined Horatio’s Garden Founder & Chair of Trustees, Dr Olivia Chapple, Consultant in Rehabilitation at The Spinal Cord Injuries Unit, Dr Suzanne Maguire, and the construction team from McCusker Contracts Ltd, who all came together to celebrate breaking ground on the project with patients, their family, and NHS staff.
Horatio’s Garden first announced plans to create Horatio’s Garden Northern Ireland in 2021. Since then, the charity has been fundraising to bring the restorative garden to life to support the physical and psychological rehabilitation of everyone affected by spinal injury across the province.
The final fundraising push is underway, with a community appeal supported by Ulster Rugby and match-funded by an anonymous donor raising more than £6,000 so far. The total will be bolstered by further events with Ulster Rugby at the close of the 2022-23 season.
“We would like to thank everyone who has generously supported this project with donations, time, and expertise. Horatio’s Garden in Belfast will change lives for the many families facing the devastation of spinal cord injury from across Northern Ireland.”
Horatio’s Garden Founder & Chair of Trustees – Dr Olivia Chapple
Ulster Rugby CEO, Jonny Petrie commented,
At Ulster Rugby, we feel it’s important to have a nominated charity partner, and we will continue to do what we can to promote the impressive work of Horatio’s Garden as it progresses its plans for the Belfast build, whether that be through raising profile and funds, or visiting and volunteering in the months ahead.
Ulster Rugby CEO, Jonny Petrie
To find out more and support Horatio’s Garden Northern Ireland, visit www.horatiosgarden.org.uk/northernireland