Merlin’s Magic Wand
2nd April 2019
The new LEGOLAND® sensory garden offers an interactive, safe and sensory space for the families supported by the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service. With wheelchair-friendly winding pathways, the garden is brought to life with various scented and textured plants and herbs, all of which are accessible in raised flower beds. There’s a calming water feature, a storytelling area and plenty of interactive opportunities including a mud kitchen and musical play items comprising of a rain wheel, petal drum, xylophone and percussion post. Tall bamboo grasses create a rustling sound each time the wind blows and the garden is teaming with an array of bold and bright flowers and plants.
Nestled amongst the plants and flowers are a host of LEGO® models built by the talented team of LEGOLAND® model makers. Children can discover robins, rabbits, butterflies, ladybirds and squirrels each made of hundreds of tiny LEGO® bricks. The garden also features a magical LEGO® village of miniature fairy homes, where the fairies can be seen enjoying a tiny tea party.
The opening of the garden was marked by the final LEGO® brick flower being planted by one of the children who attends the hospice. Joining the celebrations were a number of teams from the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort, Merlin Entertainments and supporting local businesses who helped to create the garden, alongside Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service families and employees.
Fiona Devine, CEO and Co-Founder of the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service, said, “It is with the greatest of pleasure that we open our Woodland themed sensory garden today with our wonderful friends at the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort and Merlin’s Magic Wand. I can honestly say it is a fantastic friendship and we have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of working with them. The garden design is beautiful and the LEGO® models really add fun and detail to our garden. Our heartfelt thanks to the staff at LEGOLAND® Windsor and Merlin’s Magic Wand for their support, creativity and passion for our sensory garden. Our garden will bring many smiles and hours of fun to our children and their families, what greater gift to give.”
Erin Woods, Merlin’s Magic Wand Charity Manager commented, “We are extremely proud to have produced our first LEGOLAND® themed sensory garden, in partnership with the incredibly talented LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort team. Merlin’s Magic Spaces require a lot of time and dedication from a group of passionate people and the LEGOLAND® team can be sure that they have made a real difference for the children in their community with this project. It has been a privilege to witness Fiona Devine’s journey to build this amazing hospice and we were delighted to be able to contribute to it in our own special way. On behalf of the Merlin’s Magic Wand team, I’d like to say a huge thank you to the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service and the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort for making this dream a reality.”
The LEGOLAND® sensory garden is part of a wider partnership between the LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort and the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service which began in 2014. The long term partnership sees LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort support with fundraising and in conjunction with Merlin’s Magic Wand helping families to create magical memories, offering days out each year for the families supported by the charity.
Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service provides essential support to local families of children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions. John and Fiona Devine from Windsor set up Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service in memory of their little boy who sadly passed away in early 2006 from a rare brain tumour, aged only 8 years old. Their personal experience, and subsequent extensive research, led them to realise that there was a vital need for a local children’s hospice service and hospice.
Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service began building a new dedicated children’s hospice in September 2015. The much-needed hospice for children in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire opened for day care in June 2018. The children’s hospice provides extended services in a home from home environment. Alexander Devine relies on the generosity and support of local communities to carry out the vital work that they do. All of the services offered to the families are free of charge.
The Merlin’s Magic Wand Charity and LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort teams are delighted to work in partnership to create this sensory garden for the families at the hospice to enjoy for many years to come.