Volunteer gardeners refresh bereavement suite garden

volunteer with hands up holding paintbrush

Our wonderful volunteer gardeners have recently refreshed the garden of Jacksplace's bereavement suite, Ocean.

This exciting project involved re-purposing materials and a new addition to the garden, to provide families who use the Ocean suite with a calming outdoor environment.

Martina Mukerji, Family Support Counsellor at Naomi House & Jacksplace, said:

The Ocean suite is for families to be able to spend time with their loved one after they have died and before they get taken into the care of the funeral directors. The room gives them space for their thoughts after the shock of losing their family member whilst we look after their other needs, like practical and emotional support. This is important to the families, and it allows them time to say their goodbyes, for other family members to come and see the young person, and for any desired memory making to take place, such as family gatherings and handprints.

— Martina Mukerji

Our volunteer gardeners built a new hideaway within the Ocean garden, that will grow in with vines and provide a private enclosed space for families to use. When families are dealing with difficult emotions, they can still benefit from the therapeutic elements of connecting with nature in privacy.

annie and bob in the forefront working in the ocean garden
phil painting

Phil, Volunteer Gardener at Naomi House & Jacksplace, said:

Before we started the project, the gardens were all lawn. There were a lot of weeds and it was hard to maintain. We started the project by weeding the garden, laying down fresh compost and laying down pea shingles.

— Phil
jill smiling while she works in the gardens
in progress ocean garden
yellow wheelbarrows with gardening tools in them
the ocean garden, with a birdbath, metal structure and greenery

A lot of the materials we used for this project were re-purposed and upcycled. The metal for the new enclosed space came from an old gazebo and was painted grey by Annie, who also volunteers. We re-purposed slabs and bricks from an old construction and re-laid them for a new garden path.

— Phil
purple flowers, green bushed and two trees with blossoming pink flowers
naomi house staff gathered to say thank you to gardeners

The Ocean bereavement suite is a part of our specialist bereavement services at Naomi House & Jacksplace. The Ocean suite has a bedroom where a young adult can stay after death. The hospices also provide a bereavement suite in Naomi House for children, called Butterfly. Both suites provide families with a private space to say goodbye to their loved ones. 

Martina Mukerji, Family Support Counsellor at Naomi House & Jacksplace, said:

Ocean has a sitting area off the bedroom for the families, but the secluded garden is invaluable for families to be able to sit outside and have quiet time where they won’t be disturbed. If the family are inside, then being able to look out onto such a beautiful, well-maintained garden is also beneficial and offers comfort, peace and privacy.

— Martina Mukerji


Make a donation today to help fund facilities like the Ocean bereavement suite, which support families going through the most difficult of times.