garden at St Giles Hospice

28 July 2016 Sophia Charalambous

Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC) has completed its latest community project by creating a new garden area at St Giles Hospice.

The garden was built by volunteers from the NEC, who spent a week digging, paving and planting to create a peaceful and colorful garden that can be enjoyed by patients at the hospice’s Compassus Centre in Whittington and their families.

Designed to be wheelchair friendly, the garden has a benched seating area and a number of flower beds. The materials to create the garden were kindly donated by organisers of BBC Gardeners World Live and a number of local businesses, including Florascape Garden Centre. 

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St Giles Hospice, a registered charity, offers specialist care in a variety of settings for patients with cancer and other serious illnesses, as well as providing support for their families and helpers. The charity was chosen in support of former NEC employee Mike Dolphin, who is currently receiving care from the hospice.

Dolphin, who spent the week overseeing the project, said: “It has been a phenomenal effort by everyone involved to create this beautiful garden area in such a short space of time and I am truly grateful. It’s been the perfect project which I know will benefit so many people.”

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The NEC recognises and embraces its commitment to the local community and regularly undertakes similar local projects to benefit the local area. Most recently, the team built a sensory garden at Three Trees Community Centre which is now enjoyed by visitors with learning disabilities. 

Steve Cartmell, who led the project on behalf of the NEC, said: “It has been a pleasure to support another worthwhile charity, particularly one that has been helping a friend to the NEC. We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from our colleagues, clients and local businesses to create this beautiful area. It was hard work but we are delighted with the end result and hope that it is enjoyed by patients at the hospice and their families for many years to come.”

Neil Antcliffe, Income Generation Project Manager for St Giles Hospice, added: “As a registered charity, we are only able to continue providing our much-needed care thanks to the wonderful support of the communities we serve. For our patients and their families, it can make a real difference to be able to get outside and enjoy the open air in a pleasant green environment while they are staying with us. We are therefore incredibly grateful to the team from the NEC for giving up their time and putting in such a tremendous effort to create this beautiful new garden at our Compassus Centre in Whittington.”

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Mike Dolphin with members of Team NEC and St Giles Hospice