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Rainbows Awarded Silver Medal for Their Garden at Chelsea

22nd May, 2012

Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People in Loughborough is celebrating after being awarded a silver medal for its garden at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Judging commenced just before the garden was officially opened yesterday by the charity’s President, The Duchess of Rutland and new patron, TV celebrity Angela Rippon.

News that the garden had won a much-coveted silver medal was received yesterday afternoon. The judges commented that they particularly liked the design and the excellent use of space. They said it was well on a par with the work of famous landscape architect Christopher Bradley-Hole.

Garden designer, Chris Gutteridge of Second Nature in Leicester, commented: “We’re all absolutely over the moon that the Rainbows garden won a medal at the show. The reception from everyone who comes to see it has been extremely positive, even the Chairman of the Society of Garden Designers told me it was one of the best gardens in the show.”

The garden, officially titled ‘Rainbows Children’s Hospice Garden’, will be on show at Chelsea all week before being recreated at the East Midlands’ hospice shortly afterwards. Producers from Blue Peter are planning to film the garden as it’s recreated at the hospice.

Director of Care Alison Cooke said: “Obviously we’re all very excited. The attention that Rainbows is getting for the garden project is wonderful. This week is Children’s Hospice Week and our appearance at Chelsea coincides perfectly with the national awareness campaign.

“Most importantly for me, the garden will offer a long term benefit for everyone at the hospice. It will be a quiet and tranquil place for contemplation and reflection on our daily challenges. It will also give some parents a quiet space to remember a child in happier times.”

Bereaved parent, Lucy Smith was at Chelsea yesterday. She said: “The people at Rainbows were fantastic during my son, Harry’s, last days. Having the use of a peaceful garden, like the one at Chelsea, would have been perfect for us to just sit and reflect.”

An interactive element of the garden, provided by De Montfort University's Retail Lab, is also proving popular with show visitors. A hidden webcam is being used to identify people's gender and approximate age as they approach the entrance. It then projects appropriate images designed by De Montfort student, Noora Attia, on to the acrylic screens surrounding the plot.

Once relocated to Rainbows, the garden will be available for the public to see during the hospice’s annual open day on 15th September. More details about the garden available here