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8th Apr 2024

Vitax visits Secret Garden

Vitax has re-visited a gardening project in the heart of Leicester to meet with the volunteers and take a tour of the garden and to see its newly opened Daisy Garden.

The Secret Garden is a much-loved green escape for patients, staff, volunteers and visitors at one of the country’s top respiratory hospitals in the country – Glenfield Hospital.

Originally visiting the garden in 2020, Vitax donated 6x Natural Plant Feed to help recreate and nourish the organic garden as part of a wider restoration project to rebuild the historic walled kitchen garden set within the hospital’s grounds.

Since then, Vitax has supported the volunteers in the removal and recycling of trees that needed to be felled due to ill health, enabling the space to be re-used for further planting and regeneration.

Under the stewardship of University Hospitals of Leicester, over 22 volunteers spend two mornings a week at the garden to ensure it is a safe haven for all who visit.

Visiting the Secret Garden for the first time, Vitax’s recently appointed chair, Anja Gooding, says: “I am a firm believer of teamwork, so visiting the Secret Garden was inspirational. The passion and commitment of the volunteers is clear to see, which is reflected in the flourishing gardens.

“There is a real sense of peace and tranquility when you enter, and you can see how the space has evolved over time and the areas that are planned for further regeneration. Following the visit, we plan to work with Sue and her team of volunteers over the coming months to see how Vitax can further support its growth.”

Located at Mansion House, the Secret Garden is hidden behind the walls of a Victorian Walled Garden. Available for everyone at the hospital to access, it also opens to the public on specific days of the year as part of the National Garden Scheme.

Sue Stevenson, lead-volunteer for the project, says: “We were delighted to welcome Vitax back to the Secret Garden and showcase the new gardens as well as talk through our future plans.

“The Secret Garden provides a therapeutic environment for patients, visitors and staff and its fundamental purpose is to create a space to enhance mental health and wellbeing for all who use it.

“The support of partners such as Vitax is vital and we cannot wait to see how we can work with them in the future.”

To find out more about The Secret Garden project, or to volunteer, please contact: thesecretgarden@uhl-tr.nhs.uk.

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