Can you help to improve Jill’s Garden ahead of landmark anniversary?
PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:26 16 April 2019
Volunteers are being sought to help spruce up a memorial garden in honour of one of Weston’s most famous faces.
Jill's Garden, named after TV personality and Westonian Jill Dando, was opened in Grove Park in August 2001.
Jill started her journalism career at the Mercury in the 1980s before going on to host BBC television programmes including Crimewatch and Holiday.
Aged just 37, she was murdered on her doorstep in Fulham on April 26, 1999.
The memorial garden took three days of hard work by Alan Titchmarsh and his BBC Ground Force team to design and complete, but its condition has worsened over the years.
Cutbacks in public spending have meant a gardener to look after the site full time no longer can be afforded.
Volunteer group Friends of Grove Park was set up in February 2017 to maintain and improve the space for visitors.
The group is appealing for people to help with tidying the garden, cleaning rockery and painting the wooden pergola.
WATCH: BBC airs documentary on the murder of Weston's Jill Dando.
Its chairman Johnny Boxshall told the Mercury: “The area became an easy target for young people to deal drugs and for antisocial behaviour to occur.
“We set up a Facebook page in the hope of finding people who might be interested in continuing the council's work, and in the space of two years we made significant improvements, but with such a momentous anniversary coming up, we need extra hands to get it restored to its former glory.
“Grove Park is the most central park in Weston and has a high footfall. Although we still get some trouble in the summer months, by having a presence people become friendly and take more of an interest in the work we do here.”
A donation of new equipment and waterproof jackets to the group has been made by housing association Curo.
Johnny added: “Any amount of time people can give on the days or donations of equipment or plants will be hugely appreciated.”
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Johnny on 07973 676767.
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