Wirral Hospice St John’s will be home of garden honouring BBC presenter

Categories: Care, Featured, and People & Places.

Wirral Hospice St John’s is set to become the permanent home of a garden created in memory of BBC presenter Dianne Oxberry.

The North West Tonight Sunshine Garden, created by garden designer Mr Lee Burkhill, pays tribute to the BBC journalist, who died of ovarian cancer aged 51 at the beginning of this year.

Regional news programme BBC TV’s North West Tonight asked local health organisations, particularly those who care and support people with cancer and other life-limiting conditions, to bid to host the garden in memory of Dianne.

When the opportunity was announced, Julia Evans, Wirral Hospice’s Fundraising Development Manager, spoke to nurses, volunteers, staff and supporters of the hospice about bidding, and the unanimous response was “we must take part, it would be brilliant.”

The bid document outlined how the North West Tonight Sunshine Garden would be beneficial to patients’ wellbeing, as colourful gardens are a welcome tonic when they spend time outdoors in the fresh air.

When the call came on 10 June that Wirral Hospice St John’s had been selected to be the beneficiaries of the NW Tonight Sunshine Garden, there was an outpouring of joy from hospice staff and supporters.

Helen Parkinson, Clinical Services Manager, said:

“It’s an incredible extra reward for our army of volunteers, including patients, who have been involved in the makeover of our hospice gardens this year. From August, Dianne’s garden will be a year round reminder of her zest for life and cheerfulness. It will be a massive boost for our patients, their families, friends and any other visitors who would like to visit and enjoy the hospice’s gardens at any time. We are so delighted.”

Annabel Tiffin, North West Tonight presenter added:

“It was such a difficult job deciding who should win the Sunshine Garden, every single nomination deserved it. But in the end we all agreed that Wirral Hospice St John’s just shone through as a worthy winner.

“Their love of gardening, and determination to create a special place for everyone at the hospice hopefully means the Sunshine Garden will continue to grow and bring pleasure to people for years to come, which I’m sure, is exactly what Dianne would have wanted.”

The garden will be showcased at the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show between July 17 – 21 before relocating to the hospice.

For more information visit Wirral Hospice St John’s