TWO volunteers are doing the spadework to help keep the grounds of a hospice looking their best.

Ann Foreman, 73, from Oxenhope, and 67-year-old Eileen Yeomans – of Oakworth – are both volunteer gardeners at Manorlands.

Although lockdown has impacted on their activities, the duo has still managed to spend time pursuing its passion of maintaining the gardens for patients, families and staff to enjoy.

Ann said: “We stopped volunteering during the first lockdown but as soon as we could get back to it we did and we managed to plant 800 daffodils, 200 crocuses and 100 winter pansies kindly donated by a local landscape gardener.

“Some of the patients gave us a thumbs-up through the window when they saw us digging, but it’s sad that there weren’t so many people around.

“We are staying at home again now with the new restrictions, but look forward to getting back to the hospice as soon we can and seeing people coming out to sit in the garden again.”

She added: “When I first started volunteering one lady said to me ‘if you haven’t got any family, if you come into Manorlands, straight away you have a family’. I thought that was lovely. The hospice is brilliant at helping people to have a better quality of life. They do their absolute best for people.”

Eileen also pays tribute to the staff and reflects on the coming Christmas at the Oxenhope hospice.

She said: “The staff go above and beyond to make people’s Christmas as special as it can be – there’s always a big Christmas tree, but I don’t know what will be happening this year.

“I think the important thing about Christmas is the people. We might not be able to meet-up in the same way this year but that doesn’t mean we can’t reflect on what Christmas is about.

“Manorlands is just an amazing place. People have this idea of hospices but it’s actually a really happy, friendly place to be. The staff go above and beyond to make people’s end of life as good as it can be. It’s a comfort to know that we have a Sue Ryder hospice in our area.”

Sue Ryder is facing a £2 million a month shortfall due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its income and has launched an emergency fundraising appeal. Donate at