Rosy Cheeks seeks funds for another 10 children's gardens

Last night, Greenfingers launched the Rosy Cheeks Appeal, a campaign to fund a further 10 gardens at hospices for children with life limiting conditions and their families.

Donna, a mother, who lost her 6-year-old daughter 3 years ago, told how a garden built by Greenfingers had helped her. She explained, "Hospices are wonderful uplifting places that make the children happy for as long as they have. I resisted going to a hospice thinking, my child is not going to die. As soon as I went I felt guilty I didn't go 3 months earlier. It's fun, it's jolly, it makes them happy.

"Two days after my daughter died, sitting in the garden made me think I could cope with things better."

John Adlam, who has designed most of the 39 gardens already built, told of a man he met recently. Every fortnight he visited the garden in the hospice where his grand daughter had died to reconnect with her.

There are 7,000 children at any one time in children's hospices. 50,000 families have children with a condition that means they will die before they reach adulthood.

Tom Hill, who manages two hospices, thanked Greenfingers for building two fabulous gardens, telling the industry, "You can be proud of what you have done to make children's lives a little less bad."

Greenfingers has set the Rosy Cheeks Appeal an ambitious target of raising £750,000 in the next two years to build 10 more gardens.

It has created a new fundraising committee from leaders in the garden industry. One, Andy Bunker, told of a Rosy Cheeks rose that will be introduced in limited numbers this year and in full next year. It is a ground cover rose, being grown by Whartons.

Matthew Wilson, chairman of Greenfingers, called on the garden industry to get involved in whatever way they can so that these children, their siblings and their families can spend time together outdoors and away from the bedside.
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