August 11, 2016

The Cundall Gardeners

By Julie Verrill

On Saturday 30th July a group of us from the Newcastle office went along to help our next door neighbours at St Oswald’s (our local Hospice). We have supported the Charity for many years and when we were asked to help them transform part of their garden, we jumped at the chance to display our gardening expertise…(!)

The Hospice provide a mix of end of life care and pain and symptom management to patients, with an inpatient unit and outpatient department supporting 1000’s of patients per year, including children and families. The Hospice needs to raise £7 million each year to support running costs and continue to provide the dedicated level of support to patients and their families all year round.

The Hospice was recently given the green light to create a family support centre to support bereaved children and adults. The bereavement team had already been allocated a building for this but Cundall is now helping them to transform the land at the back of the centre into a ‘Secret Garden’ and eventually help support fundraising for some garden benches and a Giant’s story-telling chair to make an enchanting garden where children can escape and help them manage their grief.

Speaking to staff at the Hospice, I have never met such a happy and energetic bunch of people and when Brenda, a Bereavement Counsellor, started telling us about the families she has helped and what she does as part of her daily routine, it really makes you feel quite humble!

The garden will be completed in phases and the work we did on Saturday involved clearing up an already existing part of the garden that had been out of use and looked not so magical. Cundall staff went over and above what was required, including Nick Cryer who was found head first in a drain (voluntarily I might add) that was severely blocked with mud! See….these Engineer’s do come in handy!

Since the project day, we have had some positive feedback from staff about the difference the work has made so far and how lovely it is to see the areas coming ‘back to life’.

We will be heading back to the hospice over the next few weeks to complete further work and we will keep you posted with all updates.

This is helping out with our #40,000at40 campaign, to see what else we are doing please visit our website .

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Category

Charitable Work, Julie Verrill, Volunteering

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