The first piece of outdoor art at a Glasgow hospital has been installed by the health board. 

The Willow Arch in Stobhill Hospital’s Mental Health Campus, designed by willow artist and sculptor Geoff Forest, is surrounded by flowers and plants to provide year-round structure, colour and scent.

Inside the structure, circular seating, arranged by ERZ landscape architects and installed by The Conservation Volunteers and Glasgow Wood Recycling, forms a tranquil space promoting outdoor rest or visiting area for patients, carers, staff and visitors.

Glasgow Times: From left: Geoff Forest, Inpatient Services Manager Janice Naven and Elaine Melville during

Fiona Roche, greenspace officer at NHSGGC, said: “Stobhill Hospital and its Mental Health Campus is a real landmark in the local area, but while its buildings are surrounded by considerable areas of greenspace, it has become clear that some of these spaces are not being used to their full potential.

“We are hoping that the creation of the Willow Arch will be the first of many exciting developments in the area, heralding practical benefits as well as creating tranquil, beautiful places for patients, visitors and staff alike.”

Following the installation of the arch, Mr Forest will now provide training in pruning and maintenance to staff and greenspace volunteers.

The training aims to enhance employability skills for those involved.

Glasgow Times: Emma Logan, Audrey Duncan and Charanne Edgar of the TAN Team

Elaine Melville, volunteer co-ordinator for In-Patient Mental Health Services at Stobhill, hopes that the greenspace initiative will bring advantages for volunteers and the local community.

She said: “Over the years, many of our volunteers have been users of mental health services at the Campus, and we hope that learning how to maintain greenspaces like these will be hugely rewarding to them and other volunteers, and may even lead to new career opportunities for some of them.

“And as we expand our horizons, we are hoping that future developments – including a community food project run by volunteers – will bring real health benefits to people who live nearby."

The development plans to kick-start changes to the site over spring and summer to attract and upskill more volunteers and to benefit the community.