We’re sponsoring a garden

We are pleased to be sponsoring:
Burma Skincare Initiative Spirit of Partnership Sanctuary Garden
RHS Chelsea Flower Show – Tues 21 to Sat 25 May 2024

Three firsts for Chelsea. A Burmese garden; a theme of skin disease and skin health; and a debut design by someone not in the profession.

Dermatologists and specialist nurses will be welcoming visitors to the garden during the week.

The designer, the charity and the sponsors behind the first Burmese garden at the world’s most famous flower show say it’s a unique opportunity to put the country (also known as Myanmar) and skin health in the spotlight.

The Burma Skincare Initiative ‘Spirit of Partnership Garden’ tells the story of a UK based charity helping healthcare workers in Myanmar treat children and adults with painful and debilitating skin conditions.

The charity does this through an innovative global partnership which is providing research, education, and clinical services to dermatologists working in one of the world’s poorest health care systems. Currently there are fewer than 50 dermatologists and three dermatology centres serving 55 million people.

The charity’s co-founder, Professor Chris Griffiths OBE, said: “Skin disease has a  major impact on a person’s quality of life and  mental health and can impose severe limitations on their ability to work. In Myanmar, we met many people, including hundreds of  children in orphanages, with skin diseases. Their suffering and resilience motivated us to improve access to skincare in the country through  partnerships between international and local dermatology communities and industry.”

Co-founder, Doctor Su Lwin, who is originally from Myanmar, added: “My beautiful country faces many challenges. We are focussed on creating opportunities in education and research for our colleagues in Myanmar so that together, we may achieve our vision of equal access to quality skin care for its people. I am absolutely thrilled that through the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, we are able to put skin health on the world stage. This is also the first time a garden at Chelsea tells the story of skin disease, and the importance of partnership in its management, and we hope people love it.”

Garden designer Helen Olney, working with landscaper Conquest Creative Spaces, has juggled her day job, to create her Chelsea debut. She said: “The garden is full of texture, including timber from a Thames jetty, crumbling red bricks and weathered stone with moss and lichen. Along with plants such as Acer davidii and Betula utilis (Himalayan birch), they represent skin disease. All the plants are found in Burma and grow happily in the UK and many have value for wildlife. The planting is naturalistic in a palette of greens, lilacs, yellows and whites. The diversity of Myanmar is shown through different planting zones and features. That includes the part-ruined ‘stupa’, a spiritual structure found across Myanmar, which symbolise the challenging environments in which the BSI work. A stilt house, above a water lily pool, indicates the sanctuary the charity provides. Seating is inspired by a letter in the Burmese alphabet meaning ‘coming together’. This is how this garden came about, and how the charity works,” added Helen.

For more information about the BSI visit the website https://www.burmaskincare.org/

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