Hospice Gardening Volunteers - East Cheshire Hospice

Hospice Gardening Volunteers

Tending to plants and patients is all in a day’s work for Lindsay Taylor at East Cheshire Hospice.

There she is among a dedicated band of volunteers making the gardens at the Millbank Drive site look their best.

Other times the all-rounder swaps her gardening gloves for her nurse’s uniform caring for patients on the ward.

Lindsay, from Macclesfield, even managed to do both jobs in one day owing to her lifestyle.

She retired as full-time nurse 18 months ago, but stayed on as a member of the bank staff.

Lindsay now works an average of two shifts a week, freeing her up to help out in the gardens.

She said: “One day last week I was in the gardens in the morning and then worked as a nurse in the afternoon.

“I love it. I’ve been a nurse for almost 40 years, including the last six years at the Hospice before retiring, and can now pick and choose the days I work.

“On the ward I often thought I’d like to be out there doing some gardening and now I’ve got the best of both worlds.

“I’d say I’m more enthusiastic than able as a gardener, but I enjoy being out in the fresh air pulling up weeds.

“As a nurse I also know what it means to patients to see the gardens from either the Sunflower Centre, or the bays on the ward. Patients and families can also come out and enjoy the open space and flowers.

“It’s been a challenging period for everyone at the Hospice and the toughest period nurses have known.”

Other volunteer gardeners include Pat Dawson and Gail Robinson whose roles as flower arrangers had to be temporarily suspended because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Pat has been brightening up the ward with her floral arrangements for more than 20 years and also volunteers at fundraising events.

“I help out in all kinds of ways, including car parking, registration, open days and collection boxes. It’s nice to meet other volunteers as well and get to know their different interests.”

Gail’s husband Lawrence drives the Hospice’s furniture van and volunteers at the Christmas tree collection.

Gail said: “I enjoy gardening and look forward to flower arranging again once restrictions are eased and we’re allowed to get back in. We know friends who’ve benefitted from being in the Hospice and it’s such a lovely place.”

Some of the Hospice gardening team. From left, Mark Reddiough, Pat Dawson, Nev Wardle, Gail Robinson and Lindsay Taylor.

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