Wakefield Hospice

man next to copper tree

Nature uplifting hearts

The woodland walk at Wakefield's hospice for the terminally ill and their relatives was in need of much improvement. When they received their lottery grant in December 2006, the local community got involved to turn this small piece of woodland into a haven of nature for the residents and their families.

The People

people gardening

For the residents of the hospice and their relatives the woodland walk and garden provide a place for people to get close to nature and provides a much needed escape from the normal everyday world they live in. George Broadhead was diagnosed with cancer and goes to the drop in centre at the hospice.

"You are surrounded by nature and you realise that it's good to be alive. It gives you a chance to appreciate that it's not the end of everything, life goes on and while it does you might as well enjoy it"

The Breathing Places Sensory garden was officially opened by Canon Michael Rawson of Wakefield Cathedral, on one of the wettest days of the year in July 2008! Despite the terrible weather, sixty or so volunteers and staff who had been actively involved in the building, landscaping and planting of the garden project were pleased to see the combined efforts of their labours reach a wonderful conclusion.

The Place

The garden has at it's heart a beautiful copper tree that was donated on the back of the hospice receiving the Breathing Places grant, by an anonymous benefactor. The hospices bereaved families can buy a copper leaf to place on the tree in memory of the one they have lost. The sensory garden gives families a place in which to quietly grieve, reflect and hopefully find some solace and comfort in its tranquil surroundings.

The garden has been planted with herbs and scented plants that are intended to induce a sense of peacefulness and relaxation. We have daily visitors to the garden, who come to look at their leaf on the memory tree, sit to have quiet thought amongst the scented plants and then stroll through our woodland walkway. It's a uniquely beautiful garden which offers something for all who visit it.

You can find more information about other Breathing Places in your region here.

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