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Guides add a splash of colour to new staff gardens

Andrew Strevens, Chief Finance Officer and Deputy CEO, and Girls from the 3rd Test Guide group, holding plants in garden area

A group of Southampton Guides has added some colourful finishing touches to our new charity funded staff gardens at Western Community Hospital in Millbrook, Southampton.

Girls from the 3rd Test Guide group came up with their own rainbow and hearts design for the new garden area, situated near the entrance to Adelaide Health Centre, before spending two evenings preparing and then planting a border full of colourful bedding plants along with sunflowers, with the hope of attracting bees.

The Guides, who worked on the project as part of their 50 year challenge badge, also made their own heart messages which they used to produce an eye-catching backdrop in tribute to NHS workers who have worked throughout the covid pandemic.

Guide leader Soph Strickland, who works on the Western site as a children’s nurse, said: “I am so proud of what the girls achieved. Because of covid, we hadn’t been able to meet as a group for over a year so this was an amazing way to celebrate being back together again.

“The Guides wanted to say thank you to NHS staff for everything they have done throughout the pandemic, so a rainbow was the perfect choice for filling this flowerbed. We hope that the project brings a little light and happiness to everyone working at Solent NHS Trust.”

Generously funded by NHS Charities Together, the open space was paid for in part through the efforts of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore, along with a second staff garden at St Mary’s Community Health Campus in Portsmouth.

Andrew Strevens, Chief Finance Officer and Deputy CEO, who joined the girls at the start of their planting evening, said: “We were really touched by such a generous and thoughtful gesture by this group of community-minded young people, particularly at the end of the most difficult period in the history of the NHS.

“I’m sure our staff will enjoy getting some fresh air in the new garden; it is the perfect place for them to enjoy a spot of lunch or a coffee break, and now they will also be treated to a very colourful view and some uplifting messages of support.”

Each Guide and leader was presented with a thank you card and Solent heart badge on behalf of the Trust.

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