A group of local young people aged between 16 and 17 years of age have been working at Lewis-Manning Hospice as part of the NCS (National Citizen Service) programme, to create a special ‘Tree of Life’ sculpture in its garden for patients.
NCS is the government’s largest youth initiative, and it’s the first year it has been officially rolled out in the Poole and Bournemouth area. It aims to help young people with the transition to adulthood by bringing them together from a range of different backgrounds, to make a difference in their communities.
The group unanimously chose to work with the Lilliput-based charity, which offers free specialist palliative nursing care to around 650 local people living with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses.
The fifteen teenagers have been in the programme for 4 weeks beginning with a range of outdoor pursuits and team building exercises, followed by project work and skill building.
In the final 2 weeks the group planned, designed and presented their ideas for the hospice, before arriving at the hospice to build their chosen design. In between they also organised a stand at the recent Meyrick Park Family Fun Day, where they raised money to buy materials for the sculpture.
The ‘Tree of Life’ sculpture, which has been erected in the hospice’s wooded area of the garden, is to be a lasting sculpture that patients and their families can use to hang or display memories, inspirational, positive messages and bucket lists.
Participants Ruth Jennings, Lauren Gower and Chloe Sparks said, “We started four weeks ago as a group of strangers who became a team, working hard together to give back to the community. The final week at the hospice was fantastic and we are very proud to have pulled together to build the ‘Tree of Life’, creating something positive.”
Elizabeth Purcell, CEO at Lewis-Manning, added, “I am absolutely delighted that the young people in the National Citizen Scheme have chosen to enhance the environment at Lewis-Manning Hospice with their art work. It’s been great to have them here and we have all really enjoyed their energy and enthusiasm.”