A group of young people from Knowsley-based housing group, Livv, has helped to plant over 420 tree saplings at Willowbrook Hospice in Prescot. The planting marks the start of works on the first phase of the hospice’s new ‘legacy garden’, as the specialist palliative care unit celebrates its 25th anniversary later this year.
Nine apprentices from Livv put on their gloves and grabbed their spades to assist Willowbrook’s gardeners in planting the tree saplings, which were gifted by The Woodland Trust as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy.
Saplings ranged from grey willow and dog rose to hazel, hawthorn and holly, which will eventually grow into natural mixed hedges around the outskirts of the planned garden.
The legacy garden will be situated in the acre of empty land at the front of the hospice building, adjacent to the car park. Plans for the space include a labyrinth, beehive and a comfortable seating area for patients, their families and friends.
Alun Owen, Corporate Director at Willowbrook Hospice, said: “We already have beautiful gardens with direct access from patient bedrooms but the idea of the legacy garden is that it will be away from it all; somewhere tranquil that patients and their visitors can go for extra relaxation and enjoyment of nature. We take great pride in our gardens as they really help to enhance the patient experience. In our 25th anniversary year, what better way to celebrate than by focusing on how we can make Willowbrook an even better place.”
“We’re extremely grateful for the support from the young people at Livv in helping us to get started. This is the biggest group of volunteers that we’ve been able to have at the hospice for some time and a project like this would normally take us days to complete. It’s been great to see new faces and hear their voices around the gardens. Thank you to you all.”
Sharon Marsh, Executive Director of Resources at Livv Housing Group, commented: “As part of our commitment to supporting our local communities, it’s really important for us to give back and do what we can to make a difference. It’s been brilliant to see our apprentices getting stuck in and enjoying themselves – even picking up new skills along the way! They did a fantastic job and I’m looking forward to coming back to the hospice in a few years to see the legacy garden once it’s complete.”
To celebrate its 25th anniversary later this year, Willowbrook Hospice will be holding its annual open garden event on Saturday 16th July. The event will be open to the public, who are invited to come along and enjoy the hospice’s existing gardens in bloom, including its award-winning, famous Japanese gardens. Visitors will also be able to learn more about plans for the new legacy garden.
The open garden event is free to attend but a small entry donation is suggested, which will go towards maintenance of the gardens.
Willowbrook Hospice is a specialist palliative care unit located in Prescot and is free to residents from the St Helens and Knowsley areas. If you would like to find out more about their services, or if you would like to get involved with fundraising, please contact the hospice directly. Willowbrook is especially keen to recruit supporters and volunteers from the Knowsley area.
For more information about Livv Housing Group, visit www.livvhousinggroup.com