Greenfingers(1), the small national charity dedicated to creating gardens in children’s hospices across the UK, opened its 44th garden last week at Little Havens(2) Hospice in Essex.
A fully accessible and interactive ‘Grow Your Own’ garden has been created at the hospice where seriously ill children and families cared for by Little Havens can enjoy growing and harvesting their own food.
This project has seen a previously vacant outside area of the gardens transformed into an abundant fruit and vegetable garden with many engaging features for all the children who spend time there to enjoy.
The garden has been designed and built by Chelmsford based Eden Horticultural Ltd, with Matthew Eden working alongside Greenfingers’ Garden Projects Manager Emma Hanford.
Children will enter the garden through an impressive pergola and can enjoy the many accessible features the garden has to offer – including specially designed raised beds; a ‘watering can’ water feature that the children can use to water the garden; a central stone circle meeting space; a ‘Big Top’ entertaining and activity area; lush and sensory herb borders and seating areas in sun and shade.
Matthew Wilson, Greenfingers Chairman, said of the new garden: “It is an absolute pleasure to be here today to celebrate the opening of Greenfingers 44th garden at Little Havens. It is such an inspiring space, and one that I have no doubt will bring a great deal of pleasure to those who spend time here. To have this area where children can enjoy growing and harvesting crops, as well as simply relaxing and having fun is a fantastic addition to the wonderful services already on offer at Little Havens. I know the children and families here will benefit from this garden in many ways, and for many years to come.”
Kat Clark from Little Havens, who manages the hospice’s Garden Club said: “The Greenfingers garden makes a wonderful addition to the outside space here at Little Havens. Our gardens are an extension of the hospice services we provide and this garden is another great space that families staying here can escape to and enjoy all year round.
“We would like to thank all of those at Greenfingers and Eden Horticultural as well as our Garden Club volunteers and all of the local businesses who donated resources and equipment. It was a lot of hard work over the heat of the summer but together they’ve been making every day count for seriously ill children across the county.”
A significant amount of funds for the Grow Your Own garden at Little Havens came from the money raised via Garden Re-Leaf Day 2014, for which Greenfingers is extremely grateful. This garden also received major support from GCA, LOFA and a number of businesses and suppliers who gave time, resources and products free of charge or at reduced prices. Greenfingers rely heavily on this kind of support and would like to thank everyone who has been involved in this project(3).
Andy Smith, Havens Hospices Chief Executive, and Matthew Wilson, Chairman of Greenfingers, joined some of the children who spend time in the hospice to officially open the garden in a small ceremony on 3rd October 2014.
The Grow Your Own garden is Greenfingers 44th garden and the second to be created under the umbrella of the charity’s Rosy Cheeks Appeal(4).