Richard House garden nominated for an award!

Published: August 28, 2018

2.7 acres of beautifully landscaped local woodland at Richard House Children’s Hospice has caught the attention of the London Gardens Society, with winners set to be announced at a presentation evening in Guildhall on the 4th of October. The magical woodland is not what one might expect from a typical garden in Beckton, it provides heaps of adventure and holds fond memories of children in respite care.

Designed and kept in immaculate condition by Derek James, volunteer gardener at the hospice, the garden most recently features a small beach and memory garden where visitors have the opportunity to engrave stones with the names of loved ones who were in respite care and no longer with us.

Derek said,

I have a real love for the seaside and boats, most of the children in respite are unable to travel due to their condition so I thought it would be a lovely idea to bring the seaside to them.

His background as a history teacher brought a splash of the Atlantic to the beach front as the flags hung in the garden hold a hidden historical message.

He states,

The flags are a reproduction of Nelson’s famous Telegraphic signal sent using flags during the Battle of Trafalgar, fought at sea.

The hidden message famously reads “England expects that every man will do his duty” adding to the sense of relief parents feel when visiting the garden as Derek mentions,

Children prefer something fun that they can get involved in, whilst parents tend to enjoy the scenery created using the features, plants and flowers.

Back in 2016, six apprentices from Insurance company Hiscox volunteered in the garden and were inspired by all the hard work that goes on at Richard House to make it such a special place for children with complex conditions and, the palliative care and support available for families. Derek states,

The apprentices fundraised to get the project off the ground by doing the three peaks challenge with the aim of raising £2000 and ended up raising an incredible £6000.

Having been entered into the Small Garden category, winners of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place will be presented with trophies and certificates at the presentation evening.