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P-28  Publicity, pitfalls and people – a hospice enters an rhs show garden
  1. Helen Briscoe
  1. Primrose Hospice, Bromsgrove, UK


The hospice was struggling with being known in the local community. This impacted on fundraising and also meant that potential patients weren’t aware of services that could help them.

After discussions with a local garden designer a show garden was entered into the RHS Spring Festival at Malvern. Focussing on our children’s bereavement support, it demonstrated visually the emotional journey that children experience when losing someone they love.

The aim was to use a nationally recognised ‘vehicle’ of an RHS flower show to promote our work to a wider audience and maybe make some money.

Sponsorship was sought including cash, goods, discounts and items being borrowed. Did you know you can ‘borrow’ a hedge? Well we did!

Volunteers and staff worked incredibly hard before, during and after the event doing so many supporting tasks.

We were delighted to win a bronze medal and more importantly win the People’s Choice Award.

The publicity was amazing both pre- and post- event. Local, national and specialist publications ran our story. Local radio and TV took it up and our sponsors all promoted it so our social media ratings soared. Alan Titchmarsh even joined us on the garden and met the patients!

The impact on the people was phenomenal and was probably the most unexpected gain. The show garden was the most effective team build. The enthusiasm ran through volunteers, staff and even the patients who visited the garden one day. The visitors to the show all had a story to tell which was quite humbling at times and the pride the team showed whilst talking about our services was a joy to witness. Would we do it again? We don’t know but never say never!

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