Inspirational cycle ride sows the seeds for greenhouse therapy

27th March 2023

People in Dorset recovering from brain injuries are benefiting from a new greenhouse, plus gym equipment, thanks to the fundraising efforts of an “inspirational” former patient.

Wayne Clarke, from Weymouth, completed a gruelling cycle challenge across Normandy, France, last summer which raised more than £4500.

1 Wayne Clarke.jpegThe 43-year-old lives with right-side paralysis, aphasia and personality change following a serious assault in 2021. He received treatment over ten months from Dorset HealthCare’s Acquired Brain Injury Service, which included occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychological support and speech and language therapy.

And last June, using a specially adapted bicycle, Wayne was able to pedal 270 miles in less than 35 hours using just the power of his left leg.

Some of the money he generated has funded a new greenhouse, located in Lower Parkstone, Poole, which brain injury patients can use as part of their journey to recovery.

Occupational Therapist Jennifer Peak said:

“We are over the moon that Wayne thought of us when donating some of the funds he raised.

“We run a weekly allotment gardening group for patients in the east of the county, overseen by an assistant rehabilitation practitioner and volunteer.

“And the greenhouse now means that patients are no longer restricted in what and when they can start growing. With shelves inside, it will also enable the involvement of those patients with physical limitations and dizziness.

“There are many therapeutic benefits to gardening, and our group focuses on addressing patients’ work stamina, mobility, balance, fatigue levels, concentration and general wellbeing.”

Along with the greenhouse, the gym equipment Wayne kindly donated is already in use and making a big difference to the recovery of patients with brain injuries across Dorset.  Jennifer added:

“Many people require aids and pieces of equipment to help with movement and increase their physical activity. The donated pieces of exercise equipment such as gym balls and balance boards can be used by patients who experience a variety of difficulties.

“Overcoming physical challenges is something that Wayne has experienced, so it is fitting that his donation is supporting the physical wellbeing of others. Not only is his donation hugely beneficial but his achievement of cycling so many miles is also an inspiration to us all.”

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