Meet Liz

With over 30 gardens to care for they are always looking to add to their team so if you have an interest in the outdoors and some experience and knowledge of gardening, why not volunteer your time to help keep our hospice gardens looking beautiful for our patients and families?

Liz is a member of the Tuesday gardening team and has been volunteering for just over two years. Liz tells us more about what it’s like to be a volunteer gardener at the Hospice:

“I retired at 65 from a busy life running my own business in Newcastle and then spent a couple of years enjoying the freedom to do all of the things I had not had time to do because of the demands of my work. However, there came a point when I felt I needed a bit more purpose in my life. Like many residents of Newcastle, I always had an affection for St Oswald’s Hospice and it was in fact named as the chosen charity for my business to support. I’ve also always been a keen and active gardener, so gardening at the Hospice just seemed like an ideal volunteering role for me.

“If find volunteering so enjoyable as I love gardening. During the brief time I had volunteering pre-pandemic I took on responsibility to develop a small garden area which needed a bit of attention. It was an ideal way to begin as a volunteer because I had the freedom to make choices and plan and work on the space, which gave me creative satisfaction. The team of gardeners are so friendly and welcoming, and they make sure that anyone new becomes completely absorbed into their group in no time at all. 

“Gardening is such a rewarding occupation but as well as that we gardeners receive many positive comments and words of gratitude from the staff, patients and visitors, who appreciate the lovely gardens we care for and our hard work to maintain them.”

When asked if Liz would recommend becoming a St Oswald’s Hospice volunteer to others she added:

“I definitely would, in fact I do, my husband is also a keen gardener and is joining the team. Don’t get me wrong, it is not all a ‘bed of roses’, there is often hard work and there are challenges involved, especially the extremely difficult times brought about by the Covid pandemic. But throughout that our team of gardeners have pulled together, supporting each other and putting in extra time when needed. Each gardening volunteer has their own reasons for supporting St Oswald’s Hospice, it’s a special place.”

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