TWO volunteers have been celebrated for each dedicating 25 years to maintaining the gardens at Primrose Hospice.

Millie Harries and Linda Babb were presented with a certificate and bouquets of flowers to thank them for their hard work and dedication to the charity before lockdown.

From planting the flower beds to organising other volunteers, the pair have made sure the hospice’s gardens are in top condition all year round.

They began volunteering after reading a plea for help with the hospice’s gardens in a local newspaper in September 1995.

At the time, Michael Jackson was topping the charts with You Are Not Alone and the popular adaption of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, starring Colin Firth, debut on BBC One.

The pair, who originally met as teachers in Birmingham and worked together for 40 years, explained what keeps them motivated.

Millie, from Marlbrook, said: “We felt that if you came here and saw dead leaves and dead plants that would be very depressing for somewhere like this which needs to be welcoming.”

“It is such a peaceful garden and people appreciate what we do,” Linda, from Cofton Hackett added.

Over the years, the garden has changed dramatically having originally featured a piggery and vegetable garden.

Now it boasts a pond, a children’s sensory garden and is an oasis of calm for patients, families and staff to enjoy and is maintained by about ten volunteers.

Jo Wright, Volunteers’ Manager, thanked the pair for their many years of service.

“It is incredible to think that Millie and Linda have each dedicated 25 years to Primrose Hospice.

“We are so grateful to them and our team of almost 400 volunteers who give up their time to support the hospice.

“We couldn’t do what we do without them.”

David Burrell, Primrose Hospice CEO, said he was “Between them Millie and Linda have given Primrose an incredible 2,000 days of volunteering.

“Primrose’s gardens are an oasis of calm for our patients and the families we support.

“It really makes a difference to them to be able to sit or wander and have a moment to relax in beautiful surroundings.

“We receive so many lovely comments about how well kept they are and this is down to Linda, Millie and the wonderful team of volunteers who work so hard in any weather to maintain them.

“A great big thank you to them.”

 

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