A GROUP of young people have created a lasting monument for patients at a hospice in Poole to celebrate their lives.

Fifteen teenagers, aged 15-17, worked together as part of their National Citizenship Scheme course, where, over the space of two weeks, they designed and made the garden ornament for Lewis-Manning Hospice.

The specification was that it had to be suitable for use by patients and their families to hang or display memories and positive messages, which could be interchangeable for multiple use.

What the young people came up with, after talking to patients and studying their surroundings, was a Tree of Life. It comprises a series of branches made of cut-up wood, with wooden leaf shapes covered in chalkboard paint, which can be written on and re-used.

The Mayor of Poole, Cllr Phil Eades, was on hand to officially unveil the Tree of Life, and congratulate the youngsters on their hard work.

Devon Smith, from BCHA, has been team manager for the group over the last two weeks of their four week National Citizenship Scheme.

He said: “The whole idea of the initiative is to get young people involved in their local communities.

He added: “So, they get involved in activities outdoors, and then go on to a different charity or community group.

“The young people came up with the idea of a tree, which is a really nice idea, and they have all been a treat to work with.

“We had a variety of young people from different back-grounds, and they have all worked well together.”

Elizabeth Purcell, chief executive of Lewis-Manning Hospice, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the young people in the National Citizenship Scheme have chosen to enhance the environment at Lewis-Manning Hospice with their art work.

“It’s been great to have them here, and we have all really enjoyed their energy and enthusiasm.”