Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Making the difference 2012: Best garden

Wave volunteers in the Garden of Hope
Wave volunteers in the Garden of Hope

An empty garden has been transformed by one charity into an area of tranquility symbolising hope and growth for the future.

Wave, an organisation that has helped thousands of people psychologically or physically affected by the Troubles, was able to create the Garden of Hope at its north Belfast centre after receiving money from the Big Lottery Fund.

Areas have been specifically designed to reflect the feeling of loss but also to signify the hope for Northern Ireland as it moves away from its violent past.

Charity Groundwork NI also worked closely with the Wave team to ensure their vision was translated into reality.

Features within the garden range from sensory planting to artwork and archways which symbolise the healing process.

All members had an input into creating the garden, which includes a quiet space for members to sit and reflect or just admire the sights and scents of the allotment where members grow vegetables.

Wave member Liam Hamill from Larne— who was partially paralysed as a result of an attack in 1999—said the garden deserves to be nominated.

“The garden of hope is used and appreciated by so many people who attend the centre. What used to be wasteland is now an area of tranquility and is of huge importance to staff and members alike.

“I think our garden deserves to win an award like this because it provides so much to the people who use it, it is not just a garden but an extension of the vital service Wave provides.”

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