A team of gardeners has received a special recognition award for their amazing work to keep the St Helens and Whiston hospitals sites blooming.
David J Platt Landscapes has provided gardening services to both sites for more than 30 years and proved themselves to be the best of the bunch time and time again with a host of national awards for their efforts to make the environment as welcoming as it can be all year round.
From special cricket-themed exhibitions in the summer to the vital work of clearing the roads of snow for staff and patients in the winter, nothing is too much to ask.
And now David, son Michael and the entire team have been recognised for their commitment to the NHS with a prestigious Special Recognition Award at the hospital annual awards, attended by more than 1,000 local NHS workers.
It’s an award that the company’s founder, David Platt, regards as “the best.’
He said: “We first started working on the hospital gardens almost 30 years ago and we have been doing it ever since. I spent a lot of my time there when I was younger. My son Michael has carried on that work and I’m really proud of what he and the whole team has done there.
“We are there nearly every day of the year and do winter gritting as well as landscaping. The hospitals are special places for us, and we love it when we get nice comments about how the grounds look. It’s not just a job for us in many ways, it is just something we do as part of our day to day lives to help the hospital, the staff, patients and visitors feel more comfortable.
“That is why the award we received at the Trust’s celebration night was extra special for us. It was a total surprise and it meant so much to me and my family.
“We always try to do something a little bit different and work with local partners to develop some special displays of interest. I saw a couple of old phone boxes for sale a few years ago and knew I had to buy them as I could envisage a nice display and they are now there for all to see at St Helens and Whiston.
“We have had a lot of support from sponsors over the years too in terms of both finance and providing us with nice features such as karts that we can put flower beds in, and we would always love to hear from anyone who would like to help.
David was presented with the award by Chief Executive of Mersey and West Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Ann Marr OBE.
She praised David and his team saying: “When receiving treatment or visiting a loved one, a trip to hospital can be daunting.
“The Trust is proud to provide hospital environments that are welcoming and calming, and our patients, visitors and staff regularly tell me how much they appreciate and enjoy the gardens.
"Year-on-year David’s team provides the most beautiful surroundings for our patients and staff. For more than 30 years they have created imaginative vibrant gardens that raise a smile on even the darkest of days, which is so important.
“Nothing is too much trouble for David’s team, and we are delighted to recognise them for their wonderful support.’’
DID YOU KNOW?
- In the summer, the company plants roughly 4,000 plants across both the Whiston and St Helens hospital sites
- There are 24 hanging baskets at the main entrance of St Helens Hospital, five at the Lilac Centre and nine at Elyn Lodge.
- There are 33 hanging baskets at Whiston Hospital’s main entrance and a further six at the bereavement centre.
- The total amount of grass across the Whiston and St Helens hospital sites equates to around two Hectares (20,000 sqm) or two rugby fields.