Hospice garden given makeover

A NEW look to the garden at St Nicholas Hospice Care has been slowly evolving and, after major landcape work and a completely new design, a team of volunteers from NatWest, in Bury St Edmunds, have been adding some floral touches.

Landscape designer Ruth Elwood redesigned the garden which had paths through wooded areas which were narrow and mossy and trees which needed felling or trimming. It had not been changed since the hospice opened in 1993.

Ruth has redesigned the space to provide wider paths and raised beds which patients can be involved with in growing fruit and vegetables. A summer house has been moved to provide a space for contemplation and a pergola installed with a new water feature within the raised borders.

The work has been carried out with a £156,000 Department of Health Grant which also paid for refurbishments to the hospice’s Orchard Centre and Chapel.

Work began in November with Fordham Landscapes carrying out landscaping work and last Thursday a team of volunteers from NatWest arrived to plant up shrubs and perennials from Fordham Nursery.

Damien Goldsach, NatWest Bury St Edmunds area manager got together a 12-strong team from throughout East Anglia and a working party was organised by Abby Mayes, hospice corporate fund-raiser.

The budget for plants did not cover the completed garden and the hospice is now hoping people will come forward with further donations.

Damien said: “We’re here to support the local community. St Nicholas Hospice Care is the charity the Bury area is supporting this year, so I decided to lend a hand and get all my colleagues involved.”

Abby said: “We are grateful to NatWest for working so hard to help transform the gardens, which are so important to the care of our patients and their families. We could not complete a project such as this without the help of volunteers.”

St Nicholas Hospice has to raise £10,000 every day to run the 12-bedded unit, which provides respite care and support for families at the Macmillan Way building and in people’s own homes. It also supports bereaved children.