hospital garden - Horticulture apprentices, Instructor Matthew Thomas, Ward Manager Bernadette Parry, Louise White

Green-fingered Nantwich apprentices helped to renovate a garden for patients at Leighton Hospital.

The Reaseheath College students teamed up for the project as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

The apprentices are studying for their Level 2 Apprenticeship in Horticulture one day a week.

They spend the rest of their week gaining skills in the workplace.

The team of six apprentices, guided by Reaseheath instructor Matthew Thomas, decided to make a difference for cardiology and acute coronary care patients in Ward 1.

They carried out a makeover of an internal garden popular with patients and relatives, particularly during summer.

As well as clearing and weeding flower beds, apprentices pruned shrubs and introduced new plants for Spring colour which were donated by Reaseheath College.

Bernadette Parry, Ward 1 manager, said: “We were delighted when the apprentice team offered to help tidy up our garden.

“Their work is hugely appreciated, particularly the pruning, as it has opened up much more space and will make it more accessible for wheelchair users.

“A lot of our patients and their relatives enjoy sitting in the garden during the warmer weather for a change of scene and I have no doubt that it will be well-used.”

Rhys Walker, 18, an apprentice with Tatterton Landscape Services, said: “It’s been really satisfying looking at the finished job and knowing that we’ve made a difference to the lives of the patients.”

Other apprentices involved were Jack Appleton (Congleton Town Council); Chris Bedson (Countrywide Grounds Maintenance); Sam Page (Cholmondeley Castle Gardens); Chris Marriott (Stocks Lane Nurseries, Over Peover); Jacob Wilkes (S J Fisheries, Betley, Crewe).

It is not the first time Reaseheath apprentices have been part of a community project at Leighton Hospital.

Several years ago the trainees renovated Ward 1’s garden which inspired volunteers at the hospital to do a similar project in Ward 4’s sensory dementia garden.

(Pic: Ward manager Bernadette Parry and health care assistant Louise White join Reaseheath apprentices and instructor Matthew Thomas)

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