Hospitals charity ELHT&Me nurtures link-up with high school after £550 green donation

Hospitals charity ELHT&Me nurtures link-up with high school after £550 green donation

Green-fingered pupils from a Blackburn high school pitched in with hospital gardeners to plant £550 worth of blooms donated to hospitals charity ELHT&Me.

Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School made the floral-tastic donation to brighten up a garden used by patients, visitors and staff to reflect and remember loved ones.

Six pupils from year seven paid a visit to the Garden of Memories at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital to see how their donation had been spent and help bed in the plants.

The visit came less than a week before Eid Al-Adha, the Muslim festival of sacrifice, which celebrates the Islamic values of duty and self-sacrifice and sees Muslims carry out charitable acts by helping others and being selfless.

The girls worked with gardeners from East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust armed with spades, gloves and trowels to plant lobelia, fuchsia and phlox as well as other blooms designed to offer a splash of colour to the quiet area.

The garden, opened virtually in October 2020, was funded by the Trust’s charity, ELHT & Me, and includes benches, a winding pathway and pergola, as well as landscaped areas and bright ornamental butterflies.

Eddie McMahon, gardening team leader, showed pupils Zubaydah Limbada, Sanaa Ibrahim and Arissa Patel how to plant lobelia in an area cut out to spell ‘NHS’. In another part of the outdoor area, Fatimah Patel, Aamina Sethi and Maya Khalid assisted gardener Steven Lloyd to brighten up a large flower bed with an array of plants.

Zubaydah Limbada, Sanaa Ibrahim and Arissa Patel plant lobelia in a bed cut to spell “NHS”

They were also given some plants to take back to the school by Eddie and Steven to enable them to plant a piece of the garden back at Tauheedul, furthering the links between the two organisations. 

Hospital Imam Fazal Hassan, a foundation trustee of Star Academies, the trust that operates multiple schools including its flagship Tauheedul Islam Girls High School, suggested the donation could benefit the garden after seeing the impact the quiet space has had since it was introduced.

He said: “People come here for prayer, reflection and contemplation after having lost loved ones or just come to enjoy the natural beauty of the garden, and it’s a soothing place to come to, away from the busy life of the hospital.

“It’s great to see community engagement and school partnerships flourish and it definitely helps with building good community relations and cohesion. This was a great display of active citizenship by the pupils and we hope to continue this partnership with other year groups in future years.”

Teacher Aamena Patel, who accompanied the pupils on the visit, said: “We raise quite a lot of money for charity every year and raised £36,000 this year, our highest ever total despite not being in for a lot of the school year.

“The girls were all chosen for the visit because they were nominated for the Principal’s Award for their efforts and achievements this year, or had the best conduct/community hours accrued. They’ve all really enjoyed helping the gardeners and seeing where their donation has been spent.”

Denise Gee, manager of ELHT&Me, was delighted to welcome the pupils to the Garden of Memories.

She said: “Since opening last year, our garden has become a vital part of the hospital, offering a sanctuary for people to spend time away from the wards whenever they need it. We were really pleased that Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School chose to support use in this way and even more delighted that they could come and help us put their donations to good use. “The Garden of Memories is a great example of how donations to our charity can be used to benefit everyone and we are always looking for support from the generous East Lancashire community.”

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