Willen Hospice in Milton Keynes marks Tree of Life anniversary - with a little help from their friends
A whole host of Milton Keynes companies have helped breathe life into Willen Hospice's Peace Garden to mark a special anniversary.
Recruitment specialists Charterhouse Medical, along with Elite Lawn Solutions and Phil Hewitson - a landscape architect - have donated their time and supplied expertise, plants and materials to redevelop the Peace Garden around the Tree of Life.
The tree - which marks its first anniversary - is a handcrafted metal structure with engraved leaves commemorating the lives of people who have died, whether at the hospice or not.
The new planting reflects each season, with added lighting illuminating the area all year round, giving grieving families a tranquil place to visit.
Vincent Moran, fundraising manager at Willen Hospice, said: “Autumn leaves are falling at this time of year, but at the hospice, the leaves on our tree are growing and bringing light and hope to those who have lost someone close. The Peace Garden gives families and friends a place to come throughout the year; to visit or mark memorable occasions like anniversaries or birthdays.
“We’re particularly grateful to these businesses for doing something so special for the hospice.”
In the past year, more than 60 people have hung individually-engraved leaves on the tree in remembrance. Some leaves have quotes or personal messages; other have special dates or names and many have been personalised with ribbons or items that mean something to the family. Bereaved families are invited to visit the tree and garden for quiet reflection at any time.
The Tree of Life project is a result of local business and artistic collaboration. Will Jones, a blacksmith, crafted the tree. Brian Mitchell, a retired landscape architect, originally designed the garden to frame the tree and provide a quiet haven.