St Catherine’s Hospice has bagged a £12,000 boost from Tesco to create a woodland walk for patients, visitors and the local community in its Lostock Hall grounds.
The charity has received funding under the supermarket’s ‘Bags of Help’ scheme, which sees money raised by customers through the 5p bag charge go directly back into the local community.
Parts of the hospice grounds are in need of refurbishing following damage caused by floods in 2015. The wetland and woodland reserve and footbridge particularly require upgrading, and it is proposed to create a wheelchair-friendly woodland walk and wildlife haven within St Catherine’s Park.
St Catherine’s was shortlisted by Tesco and Groundwork UK to receive some grant funding for a dedicated ‘community project’, and Tesco customers in the local area voted for the hospice to be awarded the highest pot of money on offer.
Lorraine Charlesworth, director of community and income at St Catherine’s, said: “We are delighted to learn that we’ve been awarded this cash boost, which will go a long way towards making a real difference in refurbishing parts of our site.
“The money on offer is specifically for use in a project which will benefit the whole community; last summer we opened up our grounds to the public as we unveiled St Catherine’s Park, which features our sensory garden, bluebell wood, The Mill café and more.
“But improvements to the grounds also benefit our patients and their visitors, who have told us time and again that one of the most uplifting aspects of their time at St Catherine’s is having access to our beautiful gardens, as we strive to offer people with life-shortening illnesses a good quality of life.
“We’re keen to develop that further and make all aspects of our site pleasant and peaceful for people to enjoy walking around and exploring, and we envisage developing a lovely woodland walk next to the river within our wetland reserve.”
She added: “The river bank was damaged in the floods so we’re really keen to see that repaired. With this funding, we will also be able to enhance the wetland area and make it a real haven of wildlife, promoting biodiversity and providing a focal point for people to stop and admire as they make their way around the pathways, which are already well stocked with benches and resting points.
“We’re excited to make a start on the project and look forward to unveiling the woodland walk to our supporters later this year.”