We won the People's Choice award and Silver Gilt. Thank you so much everyone who voted, we're over the moon!
Meningitis Now CEO Liz Brown says: “The story of the five brave people and their families has clearly touched the hearts of many people. It's also a tribute to our fantastic designer John Everiss who has captured the experience of people who had meningitis and their families”.
This is a fantastic achievement for our inspired designer John Everiss and more so for the young people that feature so prominently in this compelling garden.
“I want people to be emotionally tied to this garden’’ he says ‘’ and to ask about the stories behind the sculptures.”
He has created a breath-taking spectacle that stops you in your tracks, illustrating how meningitis can strike without warning and leave a range of after-effects that mean the life afterwards is very different from the one originally imagined.
However, it also shows how this changed future can be one of hope, and highlights the positive impact our specialist support services can have for individuals and their families.
The planting creates a Cotswold country garden setting, reflecting our Stroud-based roots, with a garden folly inscribed with the charity’s ‘Believe and Achieve’ message taking centre stage. A carved stone tableau depicts Asclepius, Greek God of medicine.
To each side of the folly are two walls, one representing the disease and the second the recovery. Five dramatic wooden sculptures, modelled on young people who have experienced meningitis, travel across the garden, hitting the first wall and climbing over the next, depicting lives changed, lost and a life different to the one expected.
All the families of these young people have been involved in the creation of this special garden – visit here to hear in their own words what it has meant to them, and find out more about their individual stories.
We’re thrilled that one of the plants featured, Cirsium ‘Frosted Magic’, is being used in a garden exhibit for the first time ever! John has chosen a number of orange plants - particularly Papaver ‘Champagne bubbles’ in Meningitis Orange - to highlight the ongoing presence of our support and care in the lives of those affected by meningitis.
“This garden celebrates the courage, determination and positive outlook of young people who have faced up to, and overcome, the consequences of this devastating disease’’ Liz Brown, Meningitis Now CEO.
“We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to showcase meningitis in this dramatic way in our 30th anniversary year, and to raise awareness of the disease and our work combating it to the millions of people who visit Chelsea and watch it on television. It is another step towards our ultimate vision – where no one loses their life to meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need to rebuild their lives.”