Fairy Sparkle has a garden dream

Fairy Sparkle OAM, pictured with constant companion Inkling, 10, hopes to create hospital happy gardens across Australia. Picture: Gary Warrick

Fairy Sparkle OAM, pictured with constant companion Inkling, 10, hopes to create hospital happy gardens across Australia. Picture: Gary Warrick

MOUNT Druitt will soon get its second dose of magic from Fairy Sparkle.

Seven years after she created the children's ward fairy garden, she has started one for the palliative care ward but needs helping hands from the community.

Her ultimate goal is to create a happy garden in every hospital across Australia.

"It will take time but I believe the answer is in the community," she said.

"Mount Druitt will be the guinea pig as it is a wonderful expression of community. It's outside the big city and involves every cross section of the community."

In 1990, Ms Sparkle left her IT job, changed her name by deed poll and dedicated her life as a full-time volunteer visiting sick children in hospital.

She has visited 45 hospitals across Australia and has become one of Mount Druitt Hospital's most loved characters in the past 15 years.

She received a Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in the Queen's Birthday honours.

"If you do something out of love for the benefit of others without expectation, sometimes you get the most wonderful surprise," Ms Sparkle said.

"I didn't think it was ever possible."

She came up with idea of fairy gardens after years of sitting at patients' bedsides.

The first of eight opened at Sydney Children's Hospital in 1999.

"Hospitals do an amazing job but I felt there had to be a better way for patients and families who had seen so much pain and sadness," Ms Sparkle said.

"I wanted to improve the hospital experience for families. Hospitals do a great job for the human body but people also have a heart, spirit and mind."

Her focus is now on creating happy gardens based on principles including being enclosed, flat paths, defines the ward, tree canopies and is sustainable.

Mount Druitt will be the first.

Ms Sparkle's plan for the palliative care garden is to always have flowers and have outdoor furniture outside every room so it looks inviting for families.

"It will take champions in the community to see this happen," she said.

"The template makes it easy for every community to follow the plan. These gardens are more about the community than just Fairy Sparkle."

■ Email fairy@fairysparkle.com.au

if you can to help.

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