Volunteers put green fingers to work at West Suffolk Hospital

A dedicated group of volunteers are giving up their free time to help keep the courtyard gardens at West Suffolk Hospital looking spic- and-span for patients, visitors and staff to enjoy.

The green-fingered group, from Tayfen House in Bury St Edmunds, will spend one day a week maintaining the gardens. As well as clearing weeds and overgrown areas, they will also clean out ponds, dig over the earth and carry out any other maintenance work which is needed such as repainting.

Tayfen House, which is managed by affordable homes provider Havebury Housing Partnership, provides accommodation and support for 19 homeless people.

The group, made up of three volunteers and Danny Courtney-Wines, support coordinator, has already spruced up the boat and Japanese-themed courtyards. They plan to tackle each of the hospital’s 23 courtyards in turn as part of a rolling maintenance programme.

Julie Pettitt, facilities business manager at the hospital, said: “The courtyard gardens have been designed to give our patients, visitors and staff somewhere pleasant and calm to relax.

As such, we’re really grateful to everyone from Tayfen House who is giving up their free time to volunteer on site.

“We feel it is important to keep outside of the hospital looking just as good as the inside, so are really pleased that the team are able to complement the work carried out by our own gardeners.”

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Shelagh Green, head of housing at Havebury, said: “This volunteering programme is part of our ongoing work with tenants to develop skills they need for success in work or education. The team undertook some work at the hospital last year and is delighted that they have been invited back. The volunteers really enjoy working in the gardens and hopefully everyone who uses the hospital will appreciate their efforts.”