New hospice gardens from Greenfingers

Greenfingers, which has completed 49 gardens at children’s hospices nationwide since its foundation in 1998, is planning to complete two new hospice gardens in the first quarter of 2016 and, subject to sufficient funds being raised throughout the year, plan for a further three Greenfingers gardens to become a reality.

Star garden designers Sean Murray, winner of the BBC’s Great Chelsea Garden Challenge 2015, plus Chelsea Flower Show medal winners Matthew Wilson and Adam Frost are among designers of the Greenfingers charity’s new children’s hospice gardens for 2016. The gardens are created for the recreation and enjoyment of the children and families who use the hospice services and provide a vital haven during the care process.

A packed schedule

Building work is planned to start on the Isle of Wight at Earl Mountbatten Hospice in January. This new Greenfingers garden is the relocation of the Royal Bank of Canada’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 garden, designed by Matthew Wilson, formerly Greenfingers chairman.

In February, Greenfingers plans to go on-site at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in Sheffield to build two private garden spaces directly outside the bereavement suites.

At Keech Hospice Care in Luton, Greenfingers is working with Homebase and gold medal winning Chelsea garden designer Adam Frost and Homebase Garden Academy students to transform the concrete courtyard into the central hub of the hospice.

At Helen & Douglas House, Oxford, Greenfingers wants to create a small, safe and sheltered area, within a previously built Greenfingers garden, in which a child in a wheelchair could be transferred to a ground level seated/lying area within the garden via a mobile hoist, or even wheeled outside in their bed.

Sean Murray is to design an interactive family garden at Grace House in Southwick, Sunderland.

Huge benefits

Greenfingers voluntary chairman John Ashley said: “We must thank all those individuals, groups and businesses who have supported Greenfingers in 2015 and we hope that our friends will continue to support us in the months ahead. We believe that creating gardens for recreation and enjoyment of the children and families who benefit from hospice services uses the best skills of our gardening industry and the generosity of the public. These valuable spaces can provide a million memories and a sanctuary of care. However, we realise that there are many children’s hospices that still need our help. That is why we launched our Million Moments appeal in 2015. This appeal aims to raise £1 million which will enable Greenfingers to bring the precious gift of a garden to at least 5,000 more children and families in hospices across the UK.”

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