Mike's story

Jam man to Greenhouse Guru...

Mike Breeds first came to St John's hospice in 2003 when visiting a very close friend who sadly died at the hospice. Shortly afterwards, Mike saw an advert in the local paper about fundraising at St John's, so he decided to get in touch.

"I make my own jam, so I donated some of it to St John's to help raise funds. Back then, I was known as the 'Jam Man'. Some time later, I was asked if I would help with the greenhouse and the garden. I was quite happy to do so, but soon realised that this was only the tip of the iceberg."

Over a period of time, Mike has assisted in re-arranging the greenhouses, helped build new greenhouse shelving, and created raised planters to gain extra planting space. He added: "This year we hope that the greenhouses will help supply the kitchens with the vegetables that they need. At the same time as doing all this, we have been trying to get the orchards to be manageable and productive, and we have also set up a soft fruit area and hopefully this year we will have a proper show."

"Part of a big family"

St John's currently has 12 volunteers who help out in the gardens on a regular basis. Their dedication not only keeps the grounds as an amazing and peaceful place for our patients and their families, but also enables the hospice to be a little more self-sufficient.

"What's great about St John's is that it's like being part of a big family. Everyone there is friendly and helpful because there's only one purpose - the patients."

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