Sue Ryder Reading Hospice Garden Recognized At Reading in Bloom Awards
The garden at Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice has won gold for the second year in a row at the Reading in Bloom Awards.
Thanks to a team of six volunteer gardeners who meet once a week at the Reading hospice, the beautiful garden space was recognised in the ‘wellbeing’ category at the awards earlier this month.
Volunteer gardener Margaret Husein said: “All six of us love meeting up and battling both the elements and the weeds to help in the garden and catch up over a cuppa.
“Most of us have personal experience of family members or friends who have needed the care and support of Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice. As gardeners we believe an attractive outdoor space is important to everyone’s wellbeing and we know how much pleasure gardens can give.
“We try to provide a view from every patient’s room. Colour, interesting forms and foliage, bird feeders, sounds of water and different scents are all important elements in the garden for patients, families, friends and staff.
“We have different areas from woodland to raised beds, colourful borders, a memory garden and a revamped Wendy House with outdoor toys for younger visitors.
“It may be hard at work but it’s not a sad environment at all, we are always laughing.”
Speaking about why the six gardeners continue to volunteer, Margaret said: “It’s a wonderful feeling when you see what you have achieved and you know it is appreciated. From a gardener’s point of view it is very rewarding to see what would be an overgrown, weed infested wilderness turn into colourful borders of shrubs and flowers, appreciated and enjoyed by all who see it.
“We hope that the sight of the garden helps to lift people’s spirits, we as gardeners get as much pleasure from doing it as we hope it gives.”
Jennifer Patient, Senior Community Fundraiser, said: “We are over the moon that the garden at Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent has won gold in the wellbeing category of the Reading in Bloom awards for the second year running.
“The garden is such a beautiful space that gives so many of our patients a place to relax, be with friends and family and just to take time out for themselves. I want to thank our incredible volunteer gardeners for all their hard work over the years, we are so grateful for their support.”