We invite you to Step into the Garden and listen here:

Today, 23 March 2022 marks the second anniversary since the Prime Minister asked people to ‘stay at home’ due to the emerging situation around the Covid Pandemic.
This date has now been designated as a National Day of Reflection by the Marie Curie charity.
This year we have taken the opportunity to create some spaces of reflection within our gardens at Headingley Hall, Southlands Retirement Apartments and Pennington Court Nursing Home.
To mark the opening of all three spaces, we will be coming together at each location to collectively reflect on the challenges of the pandemic, those we have lost and also look forward to a brighter future. We will also be celebrating the resilience and unity that all our residents, their families and our staff showed during such a difficult time.
Peter Hodkinson, Managing Director of Westward Care highlighted that: “Pausing to reflect and remember is especially important for us at Westward Care, and we hope that the gardens will be used as a place of peace and tranquillity for our staff and residents.”  
In advance of the gathering we commissioned a wonderful poet called Kate Phipps to speak with staff, residents and their families to create a poem.
In shaping the poem Kate said she drew on the feedback from these conversations which highlighted that people wanted the poem to create a “breathe out” moment, a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of life, to be calm, to remember, or to reflect on the now.
Simply titled “Step into the garden” as an inclusive invitation for all, Kate has aimed to tell a parallel story between what happens in the garden and the process the staff, residents and families have been through / continue to navigate during this pandemic.
“I’ve incorporated elements such as the birds chattering as community and families coming back into the garden to come together again and seeing the staff after such abrupt endings.
Flowers turning their faces to the light infers how people pulled together at the time, the love and light shown in the darkness. The absolute (and incredibly moving) resilience of all.
The idea of winter transitioning to spiring, how life is a process that changes and moves all the time and the idea of seeds burgeoning in the ground as hope.
I feel honoured to have been involved in this project. It was incredibly powerful interviewing the staff, residents and family members and understanding just what they had all been through. The sacrifices the staff made in their own personal lives in defence of the most vulnerable will stay with me forever. I hope the words alongside the garden can facilitate a moment of calm and reflection for many years to come”.

If you’d like to read more of Kate’s work visit her website: Kate Phipps Writes or follow on Instagram or Facebook.
"The most outstanding thing about the home is the staff. Their kindness, patience, cheerfulness and intelligence is a constant surprise. This applies not only to the professional care staff but to all the other members of staff who are also exceptional. "
Resident at Headingley Hall