Trust digs in for hospital’s new garden

Sean Murray marks the start of work on The Northumbria hospital garden with representatives from Northumbria Healthcare and Cramlington Rotary Club.
Sean Murray marks the start of work on The Northumbria hospital garden with representatives from Northumbria Healthcare and Cramlington Rotary Club.

Work has started on a new garden at The Northumbria hospital in Cramlington.

Award-winning garden designer Sean Murray is working with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Cramlington Rotary Club to create the space for patients, visitors and staff away from the clinical environment.

Sean, winner of the Great Chelsea Garden Challenge in 2015, was joined at a ground-breaking ceremony by hospital staff, members of the chaplaincy team, trust volunteers and the rotary club.

Sean said: “After many months in the planning, I am delighted that work has now started on the garden and we can bring the designs to life.

“It was great to see so many people here for the ceremony which demonstrates the wide interest in the garden and breadth of its appeal.

“Having been a nurse before turning my attentions to garden designing full-time, this is a project very close to my heart and I am very pleased to be part of this really special garden.”

Ian McMinn, non-executive director and chairman of the trust’s charitable funds committee, said: “I’m so pleased to see work beginning on this garden.

“There is a great deal of excitement around the hospital for this project and everyone is looking forward to watching it take shape and then making use of the peace and tranquillity it will offer.”

Sean has always wanted to give something back to the NHS and understands the importance of nature and nurturing to aid recovery among patients.

The trust is giving two local gardeners the opportunity to help Sean bring the garden to life.

It is looking for one experienced local horticulturist with a lifetime of gardening experience to assist with planting and a final year horticultural student to join the team.

The volunteers will be expected to help for a couple of days during the planting in October, weather dependent.

If you would like to get involved, send a short explanation of your horticultural experience and why you would like to be part of it, to Brenda Longstaff at brightcharity@northumbria.nhs.uk by 9am on Monday, September 19.

For more information about the opportunities, contact 0191 203 1351.

People can keep up-to-date with progress on the garden on the charity section of the trust’s website www.northumbria.nhs.uk and on social media.

The garden has received funding from Northumbria Healthcare’s Bright Charity and fundraising support from Cramlington Rotary Club and together they have worked on the project over the past year.

Judith Common, of Cramlington Rotary Club, said: “It’s fantastic to be here. We have enjoyed partnering with the charity to raise funds for this beautiful garden which will bring joy to so many.”