Robin House Children's Hospice, Balloch
Greenfingers has been working with Robin House Children’s Hospice since 2011 to create several wheelchair accessible gardens for children and young people with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions across Scotland. This ‘home from home’ hospice was opened in 2005 and is located in a beautiful setting close to Loch Lomond. It is fortunate to have large grounds enabling plenty of space to take the work of the hospice inside to the outside. Greenfingers Charity has been able to bring all the elements the hospice required so that all the visitors, whether a parent, carer, sibling, friend or life-limited child, now somewhere where they can relax outdoors, have fun and enjoy the natural environment.
A giant wooden pirate ship, aptly named the ‘Jolly Robin’, is the centrepiece of a fabulous Children’s Playground and provides hours of creative and imaginary play for younger children and siblings. Built on top of a grassy mound in a large open space it has spectacular views towards the Campsie Fells.
The Sensory Garden is a beautifully designed space created from an overgrown and neglected area of land at the hospice. This space features raised stone beds planted with grasses, evergreen shrubs, colourful flowers and herbs and a living Willow tunnel. A mirrored gazing ball reflects the sky upwards and a beautiful dovecote and bird feeders encourage wild birds to the garden. Carefully placed wooden seating and benches provide quiet places to sit, relax and gather thoughts during what are often very difficult times.
Greenfingers also planted a Bereavement Garden in a quiet paved courtyard area inset with a colourful mosaic pattern. Surrounded by trellis fencing for privacy, soft planting and benches provide a peaceful place for parents away from the hospice rooms.
Greenfingers work at Robin House is continuing and we are hoping to create a private outside den for older children teenagers to use as an ‘escape’ all year round in 2018.