Project opens up garden to hospice

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Children at an Alfreton hospice can enjoy a new garden and pick their own fruit after a donation of nearly £14,000.

A block paved footpath now takes pride of place among the fruit trees in the orchard at the Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, helping wheelchair users to explore further and even pick an apple or pear to use in any baking they might do during their stay.

Braving winds and rain, a team from the Alfreton office of Interserve, the international support services and construction group, spent three days building the £13,925 footpath, all of which was funded by the 

Kirsten Oliver, Interserve, said: “I think it’s safe to say that our project was ambitious. We really wanted to make a difference and help out as much as we could.

“This volunteering opportunity was the largest our office has ever completed and at times it was difficult and took a lot of planning to ensure everything was perfect.

“The weather didn’t help at times! But our staff were determined to finish on time and worked collaboratively to ensure this was achieved.

“The team was eager to see the end product. Volunteering at the hospice was a memorable experience for all of us, and something that will stay with us for a very long time.

“We can’t thank Bluebell Wood enough for the opportunity to come in, meet their teams and give back to such an amazing cause. We’re sure that this won’t be the last volunteering project we do there.”

Sandra Hind, corporate volunteer coordinator at Bluebell Wood said: “Everyone at Bluebell Wood would like to say a huge thank you to the team and Interserve for providing this new experience for our children and young people.

“The project planning and execution, led by Des Watkins and Kirsten Oliver, was excellent in every way.

“We were so unlucky with the heavy rain showers, but the team was enthusiastic and committed and did not give up.

“Interserve have a team to be proud of. They were interested in the hospice and the work we do and worked extremely hard over long days.

“We now have a proper paved path so that our children and young people can enjoy more of the garden properly.

“Baking is a favourite activity here, but now it’s even more special as some of the ingredients can be picked by the children themselves.”

To find out how you can help Bluebell Wood and the 250 children and young adults they care for visit www.bluebellwood.org.