A Surrey care home resident has been shortlisted for a gardening award. Raymond Lea, who lives at Anchor’s Birchlands care home in Englefield Green, was nominated by the care team for his hard work in the gardens.

Almost 300 nominations were sent in for the Happy Living Awards run by Anchor, England’s largest not-for-profit care and housing provider. The awards were launched in August with six categories: Green Fingered Customer, Best Neighbour, Extraordinary Talent, Grandparent of the Year, Community Champion and Best Pet.

Raymond Lea, who has been a gardener all his life, is thrilled to be shortlisted for the Green Fingered Customer Award. He said: “I am over the moon to be up for this award. I love gardening as it keeps me fit, and it’s great to see others getting enjoyment from the gardens at Birchlands.”

Matylda Cichon, activities co-ordinator at Birchlands, said: “Ray works in the garden almost every day. Thanks to his hard work, we enjoy sunny daffodils in spring, beautiful smelling lavender in summer and colourful begonias in autumn.

“Ray is also very happy to share his huge gardening knowledge and give advice. He has made Birchlands' garden a great place for having walks or just sitting and enjoying the sun, surrounded by amazing, blooming and colourful nature.”

A customer panel will be coming together later this month to judge those shortlisted, and winners of the six categories will be announced in December.

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