A BUILDING society with a branch in Oswestry has provided much-needed funds to the Midlands Centre for Spinal Injury (MCSI) to support patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The West Brom Building Society, in Church Street, made a £1,000 donation via its charitable arm, the Mercian Community Trust, to fund the ongoing Horatio’s Garden project that provides a therapeutic sanctuary for patients at the centre, based in Gobowen's Orthopaedic Hospital.

Emma Hussey, head of trusts and foundations at Horatio's Garden, said: “We are so pleased and delighted that the West Brom has supported Horatio's Garden with a generous donation.

"We’ve formed a strong partnership since the garden was first mooted and the money means we can continue to provide gentle garden therapy for our patients over the coming months.”

Briony Rann, manager at the West Brom’s Oswestry branch, added: “I attended the official opening of the garden last September and was straightaway struck by the beauty and serenity of the place.

“It’s really heartening to see our partnership flourishing at a time when support for Horatio’s Garden is so urgently needed.”

Each year, nearly 400 people with a major spinal cord injury are admitted to the MCSI, their injuries restricting movement and the ability to be able to go outdoors.

The garden, along with a spacious room and courtyard, offers an outdoor setting for patients where staff and volunteers have also developed activities such as music performances, poetry readings, a book club, as well as advice on wellbeing.

The space has been even more vital during the COVID-19 pandemic where patients have felt a real sense of isolation as the wards are currently closed for visitors.