I’m Phil and I look after the garden and grounds at Overgate. 25 years ago, the company I worked for secured a contract to look after the grounds at the Hospice. I led the team and really enjoyed our days in the gardens. I had trained in horticulture and loved being outdoors so when I was made redundant, I was thrilled to be offered a permanent position as gardener by the Hospice.
The next 25 years have been a bit of a blur! I spend two days a week at the Hospice. With the support of a few volunteers we mow the lawn, weed and trim as necessary, tidy up the car park and look after things like the fencing and paving. We also look after the vegetable patch and fruit trees that supply the kitchens with cabbages, broccoli, heritage apples and more besides.
I really enjoy working at the Hospice. The team are brilliant and there’s always a great vibe. Even in the more stressful moments, like putting up marquees in gale force winds ready for the Garden Party, we always manage to have a laugh! Our volunteers are just brilliant, and it gives me a great sense of satisfaction to know that as a team we are providing a quiet space full of natural beauty for patients, visitors, and staff to enjoy. Sometimes it can make all the difference to have a space for reflection or to just take a breath and have a moment away from the Hospice building. To play a part in providing that for people is fantastic.