Burnley and Blackburn NHS staff raise almost £2,000 to create perfect family garden for popular colleague and mum of five

A popular nurse has been overwhelmed by the generosity of her colleagues in Burnley and Blackburn who have donated almost £2,000 towards creating a dream garden for her.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 7:00 am

Doctors, nurses and other staff at Burnley General and Royal Blackburn hospitals did not hesitate to donate to the fund set up to help senior sister Lorna Hardman when she paid out £1,500 for garden work that was never carried out.

In fact the garden at the home she shares with her husband, Barry and their children, George (13) seven-year-old Ruby, Emily, who is five and three-year-old Archie, was left in such a shocking state it is a 'no go' area for the family.

And, heartbreakingly, a section created as a memorial garden to the couple's son Benjamin, who died eight years ago when he was only two after being diagnosed with Neuroblastoma cancer, was also destroyed.

A pre-covid photograph of Lorna (centre) with some of her colleagues

Lorna, who works across both hospital sites for the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "When I heard what my colleagues had done for me I was really overwhelmed and so touched and grateful.

"It's amazing how people have come together for me. I really want to thank everyone who has helped me, they honestly don't know what it means to me and my family.

"We spent so much time in the garden before this happened but now the children have nowhere to play and we can't even let the dog out."

Paramedic Ian Marsden described Lorna as "one of the nicest, kindest people you will ever meet.'

Lorna celebrates with her children George (13) Ruby (seven) five-year-old Emily and Archie who is three, after she rode 50 miles for the Rainbow Trust in memory of her son Ben.

He said: "She always does so much for everyone else and never thinks about herself. She has run the A and E department throughout the pandemic and when we heard about what had happened to her and her family everyone wanted to help."

The fund now stands at £1,930 and a number of companies have pledged to help with the re-design of the garden at the family's Leyland home. Lorna has made a start on clearing the garden but it is still not safe for the children to play in.

Lorna is also hoping that someone with gardening experience will step in to help plan out the perfect space for the family.

Lorna's little boy Ben, who died when he was just two.