The April showers didn’t dampen the fun as Derian House Children’s Hospice threw open its gates for its first Open Gardens event of the year – a day of flower crowns, glitter face paint, and lots of cake.
The charity’s ‘Flower Fest’ welcomed over 400 families, supporters, and furry friends for the rare opportunity to visit the hospice’s vibrant outdoor spaces as part of the National Garden Scheme (NGS).
Not even the damp forecast could stop the fun on Sunday (23 April) as families enjoyed a giant bubble art show by Emma at eBublio Magical Bubbles, a performance from the Leyland Morris dancers and a scavenger hunt in the hospice grounds.
Guests could design their own flower crowns in a workshop run by florist and Derian House parent, Naomi Moazzeny, of Blossom and Bloom in Chorley – and hospice Pets as Therapy dog, Tallulah, even received her own special flower necklace.
Six-year-old fundraiser, Oscar Burrow, who is climbing mountains to the height of Everest for the charity, had a cuddle with therapy dog, Shuna, who recently made the news after celebrating five years of volunteering at the hospice.
And nine-year-old entrepreneur and fundraiser, Edgar Johnson, sold his own “Famly Fuit” pots and held a raffle to raise money for Derian House at the event.
Throughout the day, visitors had the chance to speak to Gareth the Gardener, Derian’s dedicated volunteers, and explore the hospice grounds including the seaside garden, the smile park playground, the sensory garden, the family woodland counselling pod, and the infinity pool water feature within the reflection area which has pebbles bearing the names of children who came to the hospice.
Guests were able to treat themselves to ice creams, provided by Raheim of Martin’s Whippy, as well as homemade cakes and refreshments, and peruse a gardening pop-up shop with plants grown by the children at the hospice for sale from Derian’s very own greenhouse.
Mum Susanna Foy visited the gardens with her son Teddy, who uses Derian House services, and his sister Pippa.
She said: “We had such a wonderful day with Teddy and Pippa. Teddy is currently a Derian House child as he was born very poorly, but is much better now. He really enjoyed meeting Tallulah the therapy dog and her owner Claire. Pippa loved the bubbles and both of them made a beautiful flower crown.”
Gill Rabbett, Events and Legacies Marketing Coordinator at Derian House, said: “It was lovely to welcome our supporters, and their furry friends, back to the hospice to enjoy our first open gardens event of the year.
“Gareth and his team of volunteer gardeners work tirelessly all year round to keep the hospice grounds looking beautiful so it’s nice to be able to show off their hard work.
“Thanks to our suppliers and performers who made the day really special. It was lovely to see families having fun together in the gardens and supporting their local children’s hospice.”
Derian House, based in Chorley, Lancashire, cares for more than 400 babies, children, young people and their families from across the North West and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
It will cost £6 million to run services at Derian House in 2023, and so the charity relies on the generosity of its supporters for 70p in every £1. Find out more: www.derianhouse.co.uk