GREENFINGERS CHARITY - LINDA PETRONS
I have been working in the charity world for almost 20 years, firstly as a volunteer fundraiser and some years ago, with my late husband, fronting a campaign for Cancer Research UK. I then went onto to working for my local hospice charity. I was so fortunate that in my role there I was given so many fantastic opportunities including project managing the creation of a memorial woodland. It was a project I loved as I saw at first hand the very real difference planting trees and being close to nature made to families who had lost a loved one, I also experienced that myself.
Working at Greenfingers Charity I still consider myself fortunate. To now be working within an industry surrounded by lovers of all things gardening, in these strange time there’s no place I’d rather be right now.
In my role as Director of Fundraising and Communications, I am privileged to hear so many inspiring stories from many families and care staff about the importance of well-designed outside spaces where hospice care is only on hand should it be needed. The very real benefits of spending time in a peaceful garden or playing in a safe, well-designed play garden with siblings or simply being able to enjoy listening to the scents and sounds of the surrounding landscape can be felt by all.
Thanks to the many connections I’ve made over recent years, I have been inspired spend more time in my own garden too. At the end of the day or on a day off, I love pottering in the greenhouse and I am enjoying planning how I’m going to fill my new raised beds with beautiful flowers and all-year round colour. I have also been reminded of how indoor plants can help in our daily lives too and am now filling those rooms I spend most of my time in with some fabulous greenery!
Working on my garden during lockdown continues to provide me with a sense of peace and hope that life as we knew it will return to some semblance of normality soon.
GREENFINGERS is a national charity dedicated to supporting life-limited children and their families who spend time in hospices around the UK. The charity is committed to creating beautiful, well-designed outdoor spaces for children to enjoy with family, friends and siblings, whether through play and fun, or therapeutic rest and relaxation. To date Green fingers Charity has created 60 inspiring gardens in children’s hospices around the country, and has a further waiting list of hospices that need help now.
Greenfingers Charity is driven by the belief that time spent outdoors, away from the bedside, can offer children and families under considerable stress a vital opportunity to embrace the benefits of being in the fresh air and engaging with the natural environment. Whilst many people may take for granted the simple pleasure of being able to enjoy a garden, for these children, their siblings and their families, more so than ever the chance to spend time together outdoors and away from the bedside is precious.
In 2020, due to COVID-19,we heard heart-warming stories of how hospices were using their gardens in a way they had never expected.
More of the inside work of hospices is now taking place outside and some hospices opened their gardens to support the most vulnerable children and families living in their local communities. As a consequence of the pandemic, Greenfingers now has a waiting list of hospices that need their help.