Final piece in the puzzle for Hinchingbrooke Hospital’s sensory garden

IT’S taken six years but the sensory garden for children being treated at Hinchingbrooke Hospital is finally complete.

The final piece of the puzzle was a tactile wall, designed by nine youngsters from Longsands Academy in St Neots, which was unveiled by gardening celebrity Christine Walkden yesterday (Tuesday).

The garden, in a sheltered courtyard close to the children’s unit, was commissioned by the St Neots St Mary’s Rotary Club.

Rotarians and the Mayor of Huntingdon, Councillor Colin Hyams, were at the unveiling, along with the youngsters from Longsands – who saw the finished wall for the first time.

Anne-Marie Hamilton, chairman of the children’s charity Dreamdrops, said the garden was beautifully designed.

She added: “It’s amazing how much has been put into a relatively small space.”

Clive Cakebread, president of St Neots St Mary’s Rotary Club, said he was very pleased to see the final piece of the sensory garden installed.

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Rotarian and Dreamdrops committee member Mike Andrews has been a key player in getting the garden, which was opened by Sir John Major, off the ground.

Mr Andrews said: “We’re proud to be involved.

“The garden is not just for the children, it’s a quiet place for their parents to come and sit too. It’s a place of tranquillity.”

Mrs Walkden, the resident gardening expert on The One Show on BBC1, said: “It is a considerable pleasure and honour to be here to unveil this very special wall. All of us have senses and we all take them for granted on a daily basis.

“I know the value of a garden… the value of touch, sound and smell.”

She said the tactile wall was very special and she thanked everybody for their involvement.

She said the work of the Longsands’ students was “not just a piece of artwork” but would “touch the hearts” of all the children who are treated at the Huntingdon hospital.

She said: “It’s a considerable pleasure seeing young people giving back to other young people.”