A new appeal called 'Rosy Cheeks' has been launched by Greenfingers, the industry charity dedicated to creating gardens in children's hospices, with the aim of raising £750,000 over the next two years.
It is hoped the money will help build at least ten new gardens in children's hospices around the country. The new Rosy Cheeks appeal aims to "galvanise the charity's plans to build more gardens and to impress upon the horticultural industry and the general public how beneficial time spent outdoors is for children with life-limiting conditions," said the charity.
The Rosy Cheeks name represents a child's face becoming flushed with warmth and health when spending time outdoors. The charity is driven by the belief that time spent outdoors can offer children and families under stress a vital opportunity to embrace the benefits of being in the fresh air and engaging with the natural environment.
The first five gardens to be built under the Rosy Cheeks appeal will be at Little Havens Hospice, Essex, EllenorLions Hospice in Kent, Chestnut Tree House of Sussex, Yorkshire's Forget Me Not Children's Hospice, and Horizon House in Belfast.
So far Greenfingers has built 39 hospice gardens, outdoor spaces for children with life-limiting conditions to enjoy with family, friends and siblings.
The charity is now appealing to gardening businesses and enthusiasts to dig deep and donate to the Rosy Cheeks appeal, either as whole or by donating to a specific garden.
Greenfingers chairman Matthew Wilson said: "At Greenfingers we are unashamedly ambitious in our aim to provide wonderful outdoor spaces for as many children as possible being cared for at hospices all around the UK, and we are delighted to launch the Rosy Cheeks appeal today to drive our plans forward.
"We truly believe that having access to specially design, stimulating garden spaces can bring vital benefits for children with life-limiting conditions. Whilst many of us may take for granted the simple pleasure of being able to enjoy a garden, for these children, their siblings and their families, the chance to spend time together outdoors and away from the bedside is precious.
"We are aiming to raise the funds to build at least a further ten Greenfingers gardens over the next two years and are calling on everyone to get involved in whatever way they can, with donations large and small, to help us turn these plans into a reality and enrich the lives of children who really need our help."