A MEMORIAL garden is being created in honour of a much-loved village GP who died last year.
Dr Craig Wakeham, who worked at the Cerne Abbas Surgery for 30 years, sadly died last April from coronavirus.
He was described as a ‘leading light’ in both the Clinical Commissioning Group and Local Medical Committee, a ‘champion for rural general practice’, as well as a devoted husband and father to his two boys.
The garden will be based at the surgery and is set to be named Craig’s Courtyard, with a Dorchester garden centre donating supplies to help with the project.
“While working with a small budget for the much-needed and well-deserved garden renovations, we have been very grateful for Poundbury Gardens’ donations, support and advice,” said Stuart Bexon, a member of the surgery’s patient support group; who has been leading on the project to renovate the staff’s rest area.
“Many obstacles have presented themselves along the way, but Mike Burka (managing director of the Gardens Group) and his team have helped us overcome them with their knowledge and skills, and we are now proud to say that the first plants and bulbs have been planted.
“We can’t wait to see the beautiful results next spring.”
The support for Craig’s Courtyard has formed part of the garden centre’s initiative to undertake 15 community planting projects in celebration of its 15th anniversary.
Poundbury Gardens donated bulbs, plants and compost which will all be added to the new memorial garden.
Organisers also hope the new area will provide a ‘much-needed boost’ to some of those most affected by the pandemic and act as a welcomed retreat, in addition to being a memorial in honour of Dr Craig Wakeham.
The long-standing GP was highly respected within his community and his field, having been ‘instrumental’ in the advance of digital clinical information across Dorset.
Mike Burks, managing director of the Gardens Group (who own Poundbury Gardens), said: “Craig’s Courtyard is such a fantastic initiative and one that really demonstrates how gardening can bring people together in the face of adversity.
“We’ve all come to know how beneficial green spaces are to our health and wellbeing, so we really hope the staff at Cerne Abbas Surgery enjoy their new garden, giving them the opportunity for some much-needed rest and reflection after an incredibly hard 19 months.
“We look forward to seeing how this outdoor space matures as the new plants bed in.”