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VIDEO/AUDIO: X Factor star surprises hospice party guests

One of the hospice's original fundraisers, an Accrington talent show star and hundreds of patients, volunteers, staff and their families celebrated in style as the hospice's new gardens were officially unveiled at the weekend.

Click here to listen to an audio tour of the new gardens, recorded and originally broadcast on Radio Lancashire.

15-year-old Reece Bibby from Accrington who made his X Factor debut just over a week ago surprised the crowd by treating them to a performance of his auditionsong Latch by Disclosure and The Lumineers' hit Ho Hey to an attentive crowd.

Reece assisted Jessie Hall, one of the hospice's fundraisers in its early days, to plant a thank you tree which declared the new hospice gardens open. The tree is in honour of all our volunteers, past, present and future.

The development of the gardens was possible with a grant of £105,000 which was awarded by the Department of Health Capital Grants Scheme.

The gardens have been developed with patients in mind to provide an outside space for relaxation and enjoyment.

The space enhances the outdoor environment to maximise the use and joy that the garden can offer to patients, families and carers. This has been achieved by the creation of different settings for different needs whether this for privacy, company, tranquillity, or activity. The aim is to inspire the users and visitors to the garden, allowing them to enjoy it with all their senses and giving patients, relatives, friends and children lasting happy memories in a number of ways.

The scheme aims to inspire visitors to explore the garden – a walk will take them from the ornamental reflection garden with the sound of rippling water and the scent of flowers to the light adapted shade of the grove vegetation. This will then lead to the park area with its flowering meadow, flowing on to winding paths taking visitors to the secret woodland, a corridor to an almost forgotten garden.

An amphitheatre has been created in the meadow where outside events can take place by local artists and schools allowing patients new experiences in a safe environment.

Community and drama groups are now being invited to hold an event for patients, volunteers and the community within the new garden.  Groups can contact Sharon Crymble on 01254 733410.

Want to see more? Click here to see our photo gallery of life at the hospice.