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Gardens spruced up for Christmas

A local hospice has been helped to get its gardens in order for the winter thanks to two groups of hard-working volunteers from a government office and a car engine research centre.
Pic D the full Ford team picture (cropped)
First up Saint Francis Hospice Head Gardener Claire White welcomed Paul Winn and a number of his colleagues from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). 

Paul's team (pictured below) works on combatting fraud and is based at the Romford job centre in Main Road, Romford. Following a business meeting in a room they had hired in the hospice's education centre they then gave several hours of their time to help clear the gardens of the Havering-atte-Bower based hospice of leaves and tree debris after a number of days of strong winds.

Claire White said; "After storms Abigail and Barney our lovely gardens were looking a bit sorry for themselves but Paul and his team have really helped tidy them up again and we are very grateful for their help."

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Later in the day Claire joined a team from the Ford Technical centre in Dunton who came to fit a water feature as one element of a transformed inner garden space that Nick Lapwood, a foreman at the Ford Technical Centre and a number of his colleagues had been redesigning to benefit people staying at the hospice and their friends and families. 

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Previously a neglected courtyard next to the inpatient ward the area has now been transformed into a small night garden featuring hand-built wooden planters, benches and seats and an exquisite water feature all built by Nick and his colleagues.

"Claire drew up a plan for the garden and then five of the guys worked in the fleet workshop designing and making the water feature using copper and stainless steel including some car parts and the others made all the raised wooden beds" said Nick.

Terry Saville, Fleet Workshop and Vehicle Instrumentation Supervisor at the Ford Technical Centre said: "At first it was going to be a community day but it turned into two and a half days! We got a donation of copper to make the leaves for the water feature and I' m really pleased how it's turned out."

"It gives the garden another dimension."

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The Metal workshop team from Ford with the water feature. Back row from left to right: Mark Cass, David Neild, Barrie Geater, Front row: Colin Sinclair (left) and Tony Cairns.