A GARDEN at a children's hospice is set to benefit from a £250,000 transformation.

Naomi House, in Sutton Scotney, has been closed for more than a year during a major refurbishment project.

With building work almost complete and the hospice due to re-open in September, staff have now turned their attention to a total redesign of the gardens.

The hospice has been raising the £4million needed for the refurbishment project through its Caterpillar Appeal, and has now launched an additional appeal to raise more than £250,000 to create an outdoor space that will excite and delight the children and families who rely on the hospice service.

Naomi House is set in the grounds of the picturesque Sutton Manor Estate, which was once the home of Rank Pictures and was visited by the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Dirk Bogarde.

The new garden has been designed by Faith Ramsay, who is one of the charity's trustees and has her own Berkshire based firm, My Country Garden.

Her designs are bold and ambitious, and have been met with overwhelming approval from families and staff.

The new garden will include a play area for children along with a quiet space for reflection.

It will also provide sensory stimulation for children with limited cognitive ability and offer a space for parents to relax and enjoy the views, while also being the hub of activity for the charity's play team.

Faith was also tasked with designing a brand new roof garden that will be accessed from the hospice's new first floor spiritual space.

The children’s garden will include a range of the latest wheelchair accessible playground equipment, including nest swings, wheelchair accessible structures and a specially adapted roundabout.

A semi-private garden will compliment the hospice's Butterfly Room, offering a space for bereavement.

Faith said: "I passionately believe that being out in green spaces and gardens is hugely beneficial for one's emotional, physical and mental well-being and this is never more the case than for life-limited children and their siblings and families.

"In designing the separate spaces that make up the new Naomi House gardens I have tried to encourage and entice the children outside so they can engage and interact with their surroundings."

Sue Wilkins, family support manager at Naomi House and Jacksplace, added: "Losing a child is the hardest thing anyone is likely to face. The garden offers a refuge, a tranquil space to sit and reflect on what has been, without fear of being disturbed. It is a place that provides a link with the lost child or young person, a place where their engraved special stone or leaf is placed, an opportunity amongst the sadness to recall those treasured and favourite memories.

"Nature also has healing qualities and strong regenerative capabilities. The smell of lavender and the sound of running water can help still the mind in times of distress. The garden is there, constantly changing throughout the seasons and yet providing constancy through these troubled and sad times."

The hospice has launched a crowdfunding campaign where people can donate to the appeal so the gardens can be completed before the winter.

To donate visit www.caterpillarappeal.org.uk/garden-project.php.

The hospice will be holding an open day on September 12 so supporters can see the transformation at Naomi House and the work progressing on the garden.

There will be traditional fete games, a chance to tour the new facilities and meet nursing staff.