Chris and Alexis with awards 1Back in August we welcomed the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ judges which is a scheme that forms part of the wider Royal Horticultural Society ‘Britain in Bloom’ initiative. It rewards work done by groups of volunteers who improve their local environment through gardening.

We are delighted to report that both our gardens at Bicton Heath and Apley Castle received Level Five Thriving which is the highest level of award. Previously we received a Level Four for both sites. Given the adverse weather we’ve had this spring it is a significant achievement to improve on last year’s awards.

We were invited along with various other community groups from across the region to a special ceremony in Birmingham to receive the awards. Not only did we receive awards for our gardens but two of our wonderful volunteer gardeners, Dave Hall and William Offland, also picked up merit awards for their continued dedication and contributions to gardening. Dave Hall works at our Shrewsbury hospice and is one of the longest serving volunteer gardeners with over 15 years service. William Offland has been volunteering at our hospice in Telford since it opened in 2007 and has recently singlehandedly cleared the new pathway. Dave and William were amongst just six volunteers from across the Midlands to receive merit awards.

These awards are testament to all the hard work and dedication of all our volunteer gardeners and the various other members of hospice staff that spend hours in our gardens, come rain or shine, to ensure they are looking their best for our patients.

This week’s hints and tips

Now is a good time of year to raise the cutting height on your lawnmower

Make the most of this time of year and enjoy the abundance of fruit in season

Thinking ahead to next spring start planting daffodil bulbs

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