TV star opens new hospice garden
Monday 31st March 2014 08:08 Community Posted by Max Wieland
BLOOMING GREAT: Chris Collins and children from Dinting Primary at the garden’s opening ceremony

BLOOMING GREAT: Chris Collins and children from Dinting Primary at the garden’s opening ceremony

Patients and visitors of Willow Wood Hospice are benefiting from a new refurbished garden following its official opening recently.

The stunning gardens come some 15 years after it first opened its doors to patients and follows a major refurbishment programme after the Department of Health awarded the Hospice a £165,000 grant.

On hand to perform the official opening was Blue Peter presenter and gardening expert Chris Collins, before announcing to the extremely busy ceremony about his new role as a patron of the Hospice.

“It is a big honour for me to attend and open the new garden at Willow Wood Hospice,” he told the Reporter and Chronicle.

“I imagined it to be a sullen place but I was surprised to find there’s a real positive atmosphere and it makes the visit very uplifting.

“I am fortunate to be aware of the amazing work that is being undertaken here and the positivity of all those involved who bring so much to this special place.”

Stopping behind to talk to eager and interested guests long after the official opening finished, Chris admitted he was impressed with the gardens overall.

“There’s nothing like being in a garden and being surrounded by nature to lift your spirits, I think it looks amazing and I’m sure it will serve Willow Wood well for many years to come.”

The extensive changes took around nine months to complete after the removal of the large pond that previously stood at the base of the new gardens.

Other complex changes included additional new lighting to make it more accessible to wheelchair users and those with limited mobility.

PICTURED: Chris Collins and children from Dinting Primary at the garden’s opening ceremony

– You can read the full story along with more photos in the current edition of the Tameside Reporter (March 27 edition).