(Updated 28.05.2021)

Coronavirus and the St Giles Hospice garden project

On Monday 16th March 2020 the RHS made the following announcement;

“Following the Government update on 16 March 2020 and ongoing situation with COVID-19, all RHS Shows, Garden Events and school visits will be cancelled with immediate effect until 30 June 2020. 

“With the Government no longer supporting mass gathering events due to the impact on emergency services and heightened actions to encourage social distancing, the following RHS Shows will regrettably no longer take place in 2020: 

RHS Flower Show Cardiff, 17-19 April

RHS Malvern Spring Festival, 7-10 May

RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 19-23 May

RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, 11-14 June

Therefore, as a result of this action, taken in line with Government guidelines, the project to create ‘The Moments that Matter’ garden in support of St Giles Hospice, could no longer be exhibited as a show garden at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival in May 2020, before going on to be relocated as a real-life garden space in the grounds of the hospice in Whittington.

In response to the news St Giles Hospice said;

“We thank everyone for their support and interest in the RHS Garden project – the response has been phenomenal.

“The work Karen Tatlow has put into this project has been amazing and we want to say a huge thank you to her for her commitment, passion and enthusiasm, as well as thanking everyone involved.

“We’re hoping to work with Karen in the future and will keep everyone posted about what’s next when we know and hope we can still call on everyone to get involved.

At this point the project team were hoping to make this garden happen in some way, at some point in the future. However, in 2020 work on keeping the patients and visitors of St Giles Hospice safe, was of course the priority.

The St Giles garden project was therefore officially put ‘on hold’ as the ramifications of the RHS Malvern Festival 2020 being cancelled were worked through.

At first hopes were high that the project could be resurrected for the RHS Malvern Festival 2021, but sadly, after discussions with the hospice, it was decided that it was no longer the right time for the garden project and although we dearly hoped to work together in the future, the charity’s focus had to be on funding and delivering the best possible care to people living with incurable illness and their families.

As it happened, RHS Malvern Festival 2021 was then also subsequently cancelled.

We have since been in touch with all those businesses who kindly sponsored the project with a cash donation and are tremendously pleased to announce that, in every single case, they all wanted to donate the funds directly to St Giles to help support core services.

The decision was also taken to donate 100% of the funds raised from the sale of the Sunflowers directly to St Giles too.

Details of how people can now collect their Sunflowers can be found here …

Thanks to everyone who has supported the project and despite it having to be cancelled, thousands of pounds have been raised and donated to St Giles to help keep supporting people at the end of their lives in our community.

“I would like to thank everyone, from the bottom of my heart, that has been involved in the St Giles garden project. The support we have received from companies, the local community and volunteers, has been nothing short of awe inspiring and I am so very sorry we can no longer go ahead.

“I still can’t help but hope very much that the garden will go ahead in some way, at some point. Who knows … watch this space xxx”

Karen Tatlow – garden designer
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