We are delighted to be working once again with the graduates and alumni from the KLC School of Design for the second time on a competition to design a unique hospice garden space.
This year’s garden design graduates have the opportunity to enter a competition to design a very special outdoor retreat at Helen and Douglas House hospice in Oxford.
Helen House cares for terminally ill children and young adults from birth to 18 years old, along with their families. They provide medical, emotional and practical support, helping families deal with the implications of living with a child who will die prematurely, so they can make the most of their time together.
Much of the care provided by Helen House is highly acute health care and the option to have time out in the garden is priceless for many children and families. Over the years, Greenfingers has worked with the hospice to create different areas within their garden which is regularly used for children and families to spend time together, with regular functions such as a ‘mad hatter’s party’ and beach parties, as well as periodic animal visitors such as reindeer and a petting farm. Siblings are very heavy users of the garden for all aspects of play.
KLC School of Design graduates have been invited to submit their designs for a small, safe and sheltered area within the existing grass lawn, where a child in a wheelchair could be transferred to a ground level seated/lying area within the garden via a mobile hoist, or wheeled out in their bed. The sheltered area needs to be usable all year round.
In mid January those interested in entering the competition were invited to visit the hospice site to gain a better insight into exactly what will be required of their design, and to give them a chance to get to know the hospice and grounds. They also met with the one of the play therapists to understand the wealth of activities and therapies that can be taken outside.
A shortlist of finalists for the competition will be drawn up in early March before an esteemed judging panel, including Greenfingers trustee and award-winning garden designer Ann-Marie Powell, choose the overall winner.
It is hoped the winning design will be built at the hospice in the summer, subject to funding.