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We are pleased to have supported a new memorial garden at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, created to remember the lives lost to COVID-19. The garden includes integral seating, designed for visitors to sit and reflect, created with our Enhanced Grain boards in ‘Smoked Oak’, which we donated to the project.

The garden, which as well as a sunken seating area includes a pergola and raised beds, is evocative of a woodland glade and was installed by Bristol firm New Homes Landscape to a design by Danny Clarke, well-known from the BBC show ‘The Instant Gardener’.

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Funding for the garden was raised through the Commemorative Dandelion Appeal, which enabled donors to buy their own commemorative wire dandelion as created by artists Sadie Kitchen and Jackie Lantelli. These could be dedicated with a personal message in memory of someone lost, or simply offered as a symbolic thank you to the NHS and care sector for the tremendous care they have provided throughout the pandemic. The garden itself also features two wire sculptures of NHS staff created by Sadie and Jackie.

Caroline Birdsall, Marketing Director of Millboard, said that the firm was ‘delighted and proud to have been involved in such a worthwhile project. It has been such a difficult year for so many people, and now more than ever this sort of community initiative deserves support. The garden represents a very apt way of creating a lasting tribute to those most deeply affected by the pandemic, as well as providing a valuable amenity going forward. It is already proving its worth as a place for rest and contemplation for hospital staff, patients and visitors.’

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Jack Deakin of New Homes Landscape echoed these comments. ‘We were so pleased to have been involved in this amazing project with Danny Clarke and all the other contributors. The result is a beautiful place for staff and patients to relax, take a break and escape the day to day stresses.’

HRH The Princess Royal, three of whose five grandchildren were born at the hospital, opened the garden officially on 21st April.

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