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Gold award for The Gift of Life at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival

A special garden, designed for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust’s Organ Donation Committee, to promote giving the gift of life received a gold award from judges at the 2015 Malvern Spring Festival.

Last weekend the Organ Donation Garden was admired by tens-of-thousands of visitors at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Malvern Spring Festival.

The garden, designed by award winning landscape architect Ruth Gwynn and her husband Rupert Keys from Keyscape Gardens in Pershore, asked visitors to consider becoming an organ donor.

A team of volunteers assisted the Keyscape team to set up the garden. While the garden was on display, these and other volunteers, many of whom had received transplants or worked at the trust, were on hand to explain the reason behind the garden, to give information about organ donation and why more donors are desperately needed.

Transplants depend entirely on the generosity of donors and their families who are willing to make this life-saving gift to others. To decide whether or not to become an organ donor is something very personal and it is important that everyone comes to their own decision.

The Organ Donation Garden, which featured on BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World, promoted the choice of joining the register with two paths navigating the feature; one featuring joyous, uplifting planting to represent the positive choice of signing up and the other becoming increasingly closed and narrow.

The main planting theme echoed the NHS Blood and Transplant colours - blue and red. These colours have been used to accent the garden along with heart-shaped leaves on many of the chosen plants.

Chair of the Organ Donation Committee, Michael Amies said “I am absolutely thrilled that the garden received this award. It’s all thanks to the hard work of everyone involved in its design and creation that we have received such a great opportunity to promote the importance of organ donation.

“After we were featured on Gardeners’ World, many visitors who had benefited from a transplant, or who knew someone who had, came to talk to us about their experiences. In every case they expressed their great gratitude to the families who had consented to this life-saving procedure being carried out.”

Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant said: "Well done to all those who made this garden a success. This was a great opportunity to bring home the message of the desperate need for more people to donate their organs.

"Across the UK around 7,000 people are currently on the transplant waiting list and sadly three people die every day waiting for a lifesaving transplant due to a shortage of organ donors. That's why it’s vital people join the Organ Donor Register and then tell their loved ones they want to be a donor."

The garden was sponsored by the Organ Donation Committee, the Royal Horticultural Society, Keyscape Design and Construction Ltd, Ruth Gwynn, Readyhedge, Allen Fabrications and James Coles Nurseries.

Ruth and Rupert's garden last year, designed to raise awareness of living with Parkinson's, was given a silver-gilt flora award by the RHS judges.

Visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk to sign up to the organ donor register online, or you can text SAVE to 84118 or call 0300 123 23 23.