St Luke’s Place in Rochford is opening not only the communal gardens, but also the personal plots of their residents as part of the Havens Hospices’ Open Gardens Trail on 2nd July.
St Luke’s Place is one of 7 gardens throughout Rochford, Hawkwell, Hockley and Ashingdon that will be opened to the public to raise money for both Little Havens Hospice and Fair Havens Hospice; programmes for the event are only £5 and can be purchased in advance by calling 01702 220305.
St Luke’s Place’s newest residents’ husband and wife, Bert (88) and Tess (84) have lived in the Rochford area for most of their lives and have fond memories of the area and the building; their son was born there when it was Rochford Hospital. Bert flew planes from Rochford airfield and over the building; he even flew a Tiger Moth airplane 8 years ago aged 80!
Unfortunately Bert had to give up due to a major injury to his back; he now likes to watch the birds and planes from his garden. He also had to undergo major surgery in his 80s to remove cancer from his oesophagus; following the operation the couple found their living arrangements were getting more difficult especially as Tess’s own health started deteriorating. They weren’t sure where to turn for help. Help came from Fair Havens when they were put in touch with Tess and Bert last year.
“We were in hell really, Bert had his surgery and was still poorly with his back, my sight was starting to go and we were living in a top flat. We were put in touch with Fair Havens Hospice last year and they helped get us in to St Luke’s Place. We are so grateful to the Hospice for the support they provided us with and how quickly they helped us to get into this new accommodation; after waiting for help for years!
“Being able to get out in the garden has really lifted Bert’s mood, he loves gardening and has already made this garden his own in the short time we’ve been here. We’re really looking forward to raising money for the charity that helped us feel happy again.”
Martin Pain, a keen gardener and St Luke’s Place resident for 18 months, has been part of the communal garden transformation. For him the best part of gardening is the sense of community it brings and he is looking forward to the event on the 2nd July.
“I see gardening as a team effort; I’ve always said team stands for Together Everyone Achieves More and we are really seeing this happen through the Open Gardens event because even though we may not all be as able as others we are working together and achieving something fantastic. It’s been really fun and somewhat therapeutic getting to know everyone through gardening and getting out and about especially now the sun as started shining! We’re looking forward to welcoming members of the local community into our garden and raising money for all the families who use Havens Hospices”
For more information regarding the Open Gardens event please call our Community Team on 01702 220305