Volunteers who maintain a memory and sensory garden near Lowestoft in
support of people with dementia and their families have been shortlisted for a
The five volunteers, who come from Lowestoft and Beccles, have been named as
finalists in the “Community Group or Champion of the Year Category” of the
Stars of Lowestoft & Waveney Awards.
Pauline Elliott, her husband John Elliott, Margaret Goffin, Jennifer Manson and
Jenny Pye meet weekly at Carlton Court at Carlton Colville, which is run by
Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), to maintain The Lifetime
Garden’s distinct and varied areas, which include a meadow, woodland, orchard,
Mediterranean and sea gardens.
Two of them – Pauline and Jenny – have been volunteering there since the garden
was created by former Trust staff Julie Kerton and Louisa Harris, together with
patients, carers and volunteers, more than a decade ago.
Pauline said she did not know who had nominated her and her fellow gardeners,
and the organiser of the awards has told her that the nominator has asked for
“It’s lovely to have been nominated and shows that people in our community
really do care about people with mental ill health and their carers,” she said.
“We all find the gardening very rewarding. It gives us a lovely opportunity to
work in a hospital environment and know that we are contributing just a little
bit to the wellbeing of the patients there.
“The service users seem to really appreciate the garden while relatives like to
take their loved ones out of the ward environment and into the outside space.
The staff also encourage those they care for to enjoy the garden. It’s lovely
to know you are helping to enable them to do that.”
Lisa Breame, Practice Education Facilitator with NSFT, said: “I’m really pleased to learn
that our volunteer gardeners are finalists for this award.
“I’ve known two of them for many years and to meet the rest has been a real
pleasure - they are inspiring people!
“One day this summer I was walking in the garden with a gentleman who was very
distressed but he quickly calmed as he could feel the sun, smell the flowers,
pick the fruit on the trees and talk about his time as a farmer.
“It was a lovely moment that reminded me of what the garden achieves and this
is all thanks to Pauline, John, Jennifer, Margaret and Jenny.”
Three of the five volunteers – Pauline, John and Jennifer – will attend the
awards ceremony on Thursday, 11 October at the Hotel Victoria in Lowestoft.
They are competing against two other finalists in their category.
Ros Parker from Parker Communications, organiser of the Stars of Lowestoft
& Waveney Awards, said: “The awards are a wonderful way to celebrate and
recognise the people of the community who do so much good, without expecting to
be recognised in any way.
“There are so many people who give their time and talents for the betterment of
our community and these awards are a chance for local people to say we noticed
and care about your involvement and commitment.”
The awards ceremony, which is expected to be attended by a total of 220 people,
will be compered by BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Mark Murphy.
Now in their fourth year, the Stars of Lowestoft & Waveney Awards are being
sponsored by a range of local businesses.
Caption: Photographed in The Lifetime Garden at Carlton Court are (from left to
right) Jennifer Manson, Pauline Elliott, Jenny Pye and John Elliott. Margaret
Goffin is missing from the photograph.
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