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Founder of Horatio’s Garden awarded Elizabeth Medal of Honour by the RHS

by | 20 May 24 | Garden Design, News

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has today presented the Elizabeth Medal of Honour to Dr Olivia Chapple, founder and chair of trustees at Horatio’s Garden; the ceremony took place at RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The Elizabeth Medal of Honour (EMH), established in 2023 in remembrance of the late Queen Elizabeth II, is the highest RHS honour for UK non-horticulturists that have significantly impacted the advancement of the science, art of practice of horticulture for the benefit of all generations and the environment.

In recognition of the duration of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, only 70 medals will be held at any one time.

Dr Chapple comments on the Honour, saying: “When we started twelve years ago there was such little recognition of how important gardens are for rehabilitation. But today the effect of green spaces on how people can begin to come to terms with life changing events is well documented.”

Hortio’s Garden creates accessible and vibrant gardens for people after spinal injury in the heart of NHS spinal injury centres.

Chief executive of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, Professor Paul Fish, adds: “What Olivia has done is really changing the conversation around how important green spaces are for the rehabilitation of patients. Every day we see the effect of having Horatio’s Garden at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital – not just for our patients but also for our staff.”

The charity has now started work on its eighth garden at The Princess Royal Spinal Injuries Centre at Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, exactly one year after it began its life as the Best in Show winning garden at RHS Chelsea, supported by Project Giving Back.

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