The Hospice’s groundskeeper Billy introduces himself…
“I’m the groundskeeper and my role is to look after the grounds and gardens around the main Hospice building and around the Centre for Education & Research buildings.
Well-tended gardens hopefully provide a positive first impression to patients and visitors to the Hospice and should reflect the quality care and attention to detail that the Hospice provides. It’s well known that the ability to enjoy outdoor spaces can be therapeutic to patients and families. The gardens provide an opportunity to get some fresh air or take some time out in a soothing environment.
I want to make the environment as therapeutic as it can be and hope patients and loved ones can make use of the space should they need it.
My job is very diverse, yes, I cut the grass and look after the plants but in the last few weeks I’ve been a squirrel hunter and bird rescuer and next week I’m managing a team of 20 keen volunteers from a bank who are spending the day helping in our gardens! You’ll often meet me walking about in my socks – I got into trouble with our cleaners for traipsing in soil with my muddy wellies!
For me this is my dream job. Not only do I get to work in the fresh air amongst the spectacular scenery of Edinburgh, I get the challenge of transforming and creating a really important environment for such a special organisation.
I joined the Hospice from a very different industry and can genuinely say that it’s a real team culture at the Hospice. Every role really seems to matter – people are put at the heart of what we do. We really think through our impact on patients, visitors and each other.
Since I started I have enjoyed my time here immensely. Everyone has been very welcoming and I really feel part of the team, even as the ‘new kid on the block’! We have great plans for the grounds and I always welcome comments or ideas on how I can really make the gardens the best they can be.”