A PRESS-BACKED campaign to raise funds for a new garden for the Queen Margaret Hospice is set to become a reality. 

Fife firm The Landscape Brothers have been chosen to do the garden design in collaboration with the Queen Margaret Hospice Garden Group (QMHGG) and NHS Fife staff. 

With work expected to start on September 10 and due to be completed by October 5, the group of volunteers are exited with the progress. 

Back in May, the Press launched a campaign urging readers to donate cash to the project, which aims to create a state-of-the-art garden which would allow access for hospital beds and wheelchairs so family and friends can enjoy precious time with West Fifers nearing the end of their lives in a peaceful garden surrounded by nature.

So far a total of £45,500 has been raised through individual donations and grants. 

Anne Morton, chair of QMHGG, said: “It is remarkable that we have come so far in the space of a year. 

Queen Margaret Hospice Garden Group’s first meeting with NHS Fife to propose a garden for the hospice took place last September, and here we are, a year on, and work is about to start to make the garden a reality. 

“For us, it feels like a dream come true, but we constantly think of future patients of the hospice who will have a better quality of care once the garden is in place.”

Greg Brown, the group’s secretary, added: “It’s the garden’s design which is so special. A bed or wheelchair can be taken round the whole garden.

"Set off the main circulation paths are individual sitting areas, so that patients can have some privacy with their visitors. So it’s a garden for patients to be in, not just look out on.”

The garden design will include four raised beds and four separate sitting areas. Fairleys Garden Centre, Cairneyhill, and Dobbies Dunfermline have agreed to supply plants for the raised beds.

While work on the build is ready to start, the group is now focusing on building a garden care team who will maintain the garden once created. 

They will be involved in planting the raised beds, building a tool shed and equipping it.

They are keen to hear from anyone who would like to help support the group’s work in this way.

Group member Neale Hanvey said: “It is absolutely brilliant to have played a part in bringing this project to fruition and it’s just amazing that our fundraising has reached this point so quickly.

"However, we do need to raise further funds to enable the four seating areas to be furnished, purchase a toolshed and tools, and pay for a central garden feature to be installed. 

“The generosity shown from NHS Fife endowment, South West Fife’s Common Good Committee, Carnegie Dunfermline Trust and the Mary Leishman Foundation has been fantastic.

“But the remarkable success story on funding has been the £11,000, so far, raised from private donations, in no small part thanks to the campaign lead by the Dunfermline Press.”