The gardening team

The gardening team at The Christie are our June 2022 You Made a Difference Award winners. The following comments were made aboutthe gardenersin the June nominations.

Judges picked them out as very deserving winners and said that the comments made about them showed how they represent The Christie principles and behaviours.

“The gardening team are responsible for the grounds and gardens across the whole site. This entails seasonal planting, lawn care, tree management, litter management. The team consists of Phil Walker, head gardener and Abdellatif Chakdoufdahbi, grounds worker.
“I believe the team has won the award due to the hard work and effort that can be seen every day in our grounds and gardens. We receive regular compliments from staff explaining how much they appreciate the gardens as a place for them to enjoy during their breaks. Patients take the time to contact me telling me how much of welcome distraction the gardens are to them when they are here for treatment.
“Phil enjoys spending time with his family and Abdellatif has just become a father.”

  - Wayne Daley, operational estates manager (hard facilities)

To the gardeners… a poem

My visit to The Christie
Arrival, glasses off, all the world
A pleasant blur
I see only people’s feet
Their shoes
Their boots and socks
The bottom of their trousers
I don’t have to or want to
See faces of fear, anxiety, sadness
I don’t look up
I see feet, the gait and that’s enough
BUT THEN I come to the long corridor
Eyes to the left

And there
THERE… it is
This spectacle! The colour! The profusion! The colour! The cascading! The sprouting! The colour! The opening! The blooming!
The colour! The new beginnings
The maturing! The colour!
The sheer delight
A smile and a wish each time
That I could see a gardener
And say THANK YOU

It is a Magic Garden
Which is there for all to see
It seems to open, to spread, to suffuse
with colour all by itself
People quietly sit, absorbing, eating, reading, reposing, thinking, looking,
Wondering... in this haven
This sanctuary
This shelter…
Autumn comes
The profusion of colour continues...
Leaves changing, hydrangea bush blooming, violas smiling, some soil resting...
Today is winter… and the shapes, the tall
The flat, the hanging, the colour
All cosily blanketed in white
A new place... a new delight!

  - Elizabeth Shapiro, patient

Has a staff member, team or volunteer at The Christie gone above and beyond in their work? You can nominate them for the monthly You Made a Difference Award.