Dame Patricia Routledge heaps praise on the health park

Dame Patricia RoutledgeDame Patricia Routledge has heaped praise on Clatterbridge as she officially opened a new garden at Wirral Hospice St John's.

The actor, known best for her role as Hyacinth Bucket in the BBC comedy Keeping Up Appearances, was keen to laud the work of all of the organisations working in the health park, including the charity and Radio Clatterbridge.

"My very best wishes to this particular hospice, to Claire House with which I’ve had an association since before it was built, and to the hospitals and the great work they do. And the fine work which you do. I salute you all!"

Speaking to our presenter Mike Eveleigh, she outlined the importance of hospices and the role they play in helping relatives deal with death and illness.

An artistic wheelbarrow brightens up the garden

An army of volunteers have been making over the new garden since March.

Many people turned up for the opening to see its bright display of bedding plants, perennials, colourful shrubs, roses and vegetables. Unusual features include planted chairs, chests of drawers and yarn bombing.

Dame Patricia described the garden as "beautiful" and declared it the result of a dedicated community.

"The passion and the love which is shown through what has been achieved is astonishing but redolent of the great hospice movement. I just feel very proud to be here to be asked cut the tape and declare the garden open which is going to bring such joy and peace to so many patients and the families who support them, and the volunteers. Wonderful groups of people."

Dame Patricia Routledge opens the garden at Wirral Hospice St John's

Born in Tranmere during the Blitz, the actor recalled how she was lucky to survive an enemy bomb attack on the area when a landmine fell without exploding just yards away from the cellar where she was sheltering.

She also recalled her pride at taking part in last year's Wilfred Owen centenary commemorations and the moving 100th anniversary of the armistice.

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Our thanks also to presenter Di Gaskell for her help in bringing the event to our listeners across the health park.

Here she and Mike speak to the chief executive of the hospice, Helen Knight, volunteers and Jackie and her therapy dog Gem.

Visitors enjoy the new garden

An owl casts an eye over proceedings

Some of the volunteers who helped create the garden

The pond at Wirral Hospice St John's

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