The Greenfingers Charity garden at St Oswald’s Hospice in Newcastle was officially opened on October 12th; the development of which would not have been possible without the incredible funds and product donations from a wealth of generous supporters.
St Oswald’s Hospice in Newcastle provides care for babies, children and young adults with progressive, life-shortening conditions from across the North East. Their team of skilled staff provides residential short breaks to local families, where up to six children and young adults can stay at any one time in their relaxed, home-from-home environment.
The new Greenfingers garden is an inclusive garden space where the children with complex needs can play together and with their siblings and families. Designed by Holly Harrington, the new garden includes a fun and interactive play area which includes accessible play equipment, whilst the existing summerhouse has been given a makeover, complemented with a new seating areas and a stunning willow wall to add impact and interesting architectural lines. The area has also been expanded so that it is now visible from the main living room area within the hospice, so children and families can enjoy the space from the comfort of the indoors.
Some aspects of the new garden at St Oswald’s may also look familiar as it has been confirmed that elements of the Greenfingers RHS Chelsea show garden from 2019 – kindly stored by the team at British Garden Centres – have been incorporated into the new garden.
Bringing the design to life was the job of the super talented team from Ian Howe Landscaping, who were inundated with generous donations from many Greenfingers supporters during the build, including garden furniture, solar lighting, kplants and compost. Huge thanks must go to Bridgman, Primrose, the team at Cowells Garden Centre, Sean Murray, Evergreen Garden Care, Smart Garden and medical supplies and corporate partners, Teleflex, for their donations of both product and time to help the garden at St Oswald’s to take shape.
The list of supporters continues with those organisations that have helped to fund the garden build. From The National Garden Scheme and The Banks Community Fund to The Postcode Lottery, Screwfix with its ‘Pennies’ scheme, and the entire garden retail sector which raises much needed funds throughout Garden Re-Leaf Day and many other initiatives. Together these incredible organisations have helped take the garden at St Oswald’s from concept to reality.
Greenfingers Chairman, Sue Allen, who will be officially opening the garden on October 12th said: “It is a great honour to be able to hand the new garden over to the team at St Oswald’s. The new space is truly stunning and will provide all the patients, families and staff at the hospice a place to make memories, take in some fresh air and to have fun together; something that is so imperative for the children that call the hospice home.
“On behalf of the Greenfingers team I would like to thank everyone that has helped to make the garden come alive. The vision for the garden has been so well received and the actions of so many dedicated and generous individuals and organisations has been a touching tribute to the design.”
St Oswald’s Director of Care Services, Angela Egebell added: “We cannot thank Greenfingers enough for what they have created. The space is more than we could ever have imagined, and the support from so many outside of our community has been more than we could have hoped for.
“The long-lasting impact of this new garden space is hard to put into words. From providing a peaceful retreat to relax or remember lost-loved ones, to a space full of fun and laughter, we have no doubt that this will be a lasting love story. This isn’t just a garden; it is so much more than that and we will be eternally grateful for those that helped us to achieve it.”