As we are all aware, due to the pandemic, daily life in many of our NHS departments and units has been particularly challenging over the last two years. This has also meant that opportunities for our staff to offer activities and enrichment programmes for those they care for have been more limited - Marlborough House Adolescent Inpatient Unit in Swindon is no exception.

After what has been a difficult time for their young people, staff at Marlborough House were pleased to be able to organise some activities over the summer holiday period this year. Supported by funding from Oxford Health Charity, one of their programme highlights was a group visit in August to Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens, Burford.

All those who were able to attend spent a fantastic day at the park, particularly enjoying their visits to see the young Southern White Rhino calves, Queenie (named after Queen Elizabeth II) and Molly; watching the antics of all the different primates; catching the penguin feed; and the highly anticipated trip to the gift shop!

Even the typically wet British weather wasn’t enough to dampen their spirits – the rain merely provided a perfect opportunity for a train ride around the park as well as a trip indoors to visit the reptiles!

After their wonderful day out, Libby Pannett-Smith, Occupational Therapist at Marlborough House, commented,

“We are so grateful to Oxford Health Charity for supporting this trip. It certainly has been the best day of the holidays for some of the young people and it has given them something to look forward to and work towards. From a staff perspective, it gave us the opportunity to spend time informally with the people we care for and enabled deeper relationships to be developed."

Oxford Health Charity are thrilled to have been able to support such a worthwhile event, which has helped bring joy to so many faces and has enhanced the young people’s and staff’s experiences of the service provision at Marlborough House.