Shropshire hospital gardener swaps wellies for walking boots

By Deborah Hardiman | Gobowen | Health | Published:

The head gardener at a Shropshire hospital site swapped her wellies for walking boots to raise more than £1,000.

Allan and Imogen Jackson on a sponsored walk in Scotland in aid of Oswestry's Horatio's Garden

Imogen Jackson, who oversees the Horatio’s Garden project at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital’s Midlands Centre for Spinal Injuries took part in a sponsored hike in Scotland to raise the cash, surpassing her target.

She was joined by husband Allan, a garden volunteer, pet dog Toby and good friend Andrew Peak for the camping adventure along the 134-mile John Muir Way.

The horticultural therapist, who was appointed head gardener at the Oswestry centre last summer, has so far collected £1,125 in aid of the garden charity after organising an online appeal.

Mrs Jackson, aged 48, says: “It was an amazing and fantastic walk to do.

Imogen Jackson on a sponsored walk in Scotland in aid of Oswestry's Horatio's Garden

“It was wonderful, but hard work too. It was also heavy going because we were backpacking and camping along the route.

“There were some fabulous views.

“The nights were cold and it was frosty some mornings. It rained some of the days, but we kept a close eye on the forecast so that we could get the tent up in time.


“We were joined by our friend Andrew who lives in Scotland.


“The donations are coming in form supporters and people have posted some lovely comments, which is nice. The proceeds will be for the Oswestry garden which needs about £60,000 a year to keep it running.

“Due to cancelling events because of the coronavirus situation the charity will be down on income this year. We normally have a lot of poetry and storytelling events. The guests are very generous with their time, but sometimes there are expenses incurred.”


She explains that the garden was making a big difference to patients.

“Now more than ever the garden is needed for the patients. They have been able to go and sit outside rather than staying indoors all the time, which is making a big difference.

Imogen Jackson with Allan Jackson, Andrew Peak and Toby on a sponsored walk in aid of Oswestry's Horatio's Garden

“It’s a big wide space.

“The physiotherapy staff have also been making an exercise video in the garden which they will use as part of treatment,” she adds.

So far she has raised a total of £1,125 with the help of 51 well-wishers.

To donate visit the website www.just

The John Muir Way is a coast-to-coast route between Helensburgh and Dunbar and was named in recognition of the conservationist known as “the father of national parks” in America. John Muir was born in Dunbar.

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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