Bupa and the RSPB Bring Gardens to Care Homes in the UK

By Bupa, PRNE
Sunday, January 23, 2011

LONDON, January 24, 2011 - Bupa and the RSPB have joined forces to bring wildlife gardening to over
300 of the health and care company's care homes in 2011.

Using its Homes for Wildlife project, the RSPB hopes to bring many
species that are currently in decline in British gardens to Bupa care homes
(www.bupa.co.uk/individuals/care-homes/), from house sparrows and song
thrushes to butterflies, bees and hedgehogs.

Bupa and the wildlife charity hopes that as well as creating more homes
for birds and other creatures, the initiative will reignite a passion for
wildlife among care home residents or spark a new interest.

Once the project is established, it will also provide Bupa's residents
with the opportunity to take part in wildlife related activities. Whether
this be watching and observing birds on window feeders, building and painting
nest boxes or where possible, helping staff to create new habitats like
ponds, bog gardens and wildflower meadows , residents will be offered a wide
range of extra activities and a wealth of benefits.

Homes for Wildlife was piloted in a number of Bupa care homes in its
Midlands and Wales region in 2010. It started with a training day which was
attended by activity coordinators, gardeners, maintenance staff and chefs
from Bupa's care homes. The day was jointly hosted by the RSPB and Bupa and
attendees learnt how to identify opportunities to make the grounds of the
homes more appealing to wildlife and were given ideas to involve residents,
of all capabilities, in wildlife related activities.

Almost 90% of those taking part in the pilot rated it useful or very
useful prompting Bupa to start a roll-out of the programme across their UK
homes in 2011.

Sue Brach, home manager at Grey Ferrers Care Home in Leicester, said:
"Where we have residents receiving dementia care (
participation has been outstanding. Relatives are taking home pictures of
their residents doing the work and it's really having an impact. You can't
replace smiling faces and occupied, engaged residents."

RSPB research indicates that for the elderly or those recovering from
illness and receiving nursing care (
close access to nature is important. The benefits of gardening also include
increased physical and mental activity, a sense of purpose, and opportunities
to develop friendships.

Richard Bashford from the RSPB commented: "There's been loads of
enthusiasm from staff and residents already about the benefits of this
project. We know that access to wildlife and green spaces is important for
people, especially the elderly or those recovering from illness. The benefits
of gardening also include increased physical and mental activity, a sense of
purpose and opportunities to develop friendships.

"Gardens and outdoor spaces are becoming increasingly important refuges
for our native wildlife. As well as following our wildlife gardening advice,
staff and residents will be able to monitor their results by taking part in
regular wildlife surveys throughout the year.

"We hope both people and wildlife will reap the rewards of this

About Bupa

Bupa's purpose is to help people lead longer, healthier, happier lives.

A leading international healthcare group, we offer personal health
insurance and corporate health insurance, affordable care homes
and hospitals, and provide workplace health services, health
assessments and chronic disease management services, including health
coaching, critical illness insurance, and home healthcare.

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    For more information please contact:

    Zerrin Levy
    PR Office
    Bupa House
    15-19 Bloomsbury Way


For more information please contact: Zerrin Levy, PR Office, Bupa House, 15-19 Bloomsbury Way, London, WC1A2BA, +44(0)207-656-2454

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