“So-fari, so good” as Yorkshire hospice’s new jungle garden proves a roaring success

Staff members from Linley & Simpson and The Garden Keepers create the new garden at Martin House

Children with life-limiting illnesses have a new ‘escape’ from their hospice care to look forward to – after a jungle adventure garden was created by staff from a Yorkshire agency.

Part of the grounds of Martin House Children’s Hospice now resemble Borneo more than its base at Boston Spa, near Wetherby, after volunteers from Linley & Simpson transformed the area.

The residential sales and letting agents, with 11 branches across North and West Yorkshire, teamed up with its Harrogate-based maintenance partners The Garden Keepers to revamp part of the rural estate that had become overgrown and neglected.

In just one day, a team of seven rolled up their sleeves for their mission ahead – creating a jungle garden for all the children and their family and friends who are supported by the hospice.

All the materials were donated and everyone involved in the makeover volunteered their time for free.

It was the second time the two companies had teamed up to add an extra dimension to the hospice grounds – the green-fingered partnership created a wildlife garden last year.

The result was a thriving habitat for declining species, such as butterflies, bees and hedgehogs, in a quiet area of spare land.

Emily Wilkinson, who coordinates Linley & Simpson’s programme of community support said: “Martin House is now our staff’s long-term charity of choice, its work inspiring all of us to help in whatever way we can.

“The type of relationship enables us to better understand the future goals of the charity and contribute to its success in achieving them.  Everyone on both sides of the partnership gets to know each other better and feels a sense of ownership of what we are all doing.

“As well as aiming to raise another £18,500 for them this year, the hospice also benefits from our staff volunteering programme – and the jungle garden provided a great opportunity to put our skills and time to the best possible use.”

Nick Palmer of The Garden Keeper said: “It is always a privilege for us to be invited to help create these gardens. Both my business partner, Andrew, and I have kids and we are lucky that they are fit and healthy.

“The work carried out by everyone at Martin House, including all the fundraisers and volunteers, is incredible. Without them, life would be so much harder for these families.”

“Life as a gardener or landscaper most certainly has its ups and downs but this day will go down as one of the best – and we are already looking forward to next year’s project!”

Matthew Ward, head of Facilities & Health and Safety at Martin House, said: “Our hospice islucky enough to have extensive gardens, and children, young people and their families enjoy spending time outside when they stay here.

“We couldn’t keep them so well-maintained without the help of volunteers, and we are very grateful to staff from both companies for coming out and working so hard to make this area look so appealing.”

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