Something beautiful is happening this spring at Macquarie Home Stay as volunteers begin sprucing up its spacious garden.
At least 230 flowering shrubs and trees dotted its fences by Saturday afternoon as dozens of keen gardeners, some with just little helping hands, lent their time to create a soothing ambiance for seriosuly-ill patience at Dubbo Base Hospital.
Macquarie Home Stay was among not-for-profit community organisations that received $20,000 in funding from the previous federal government to celebrate the late Queen Elizabeth's jubilee as Australia's monarch.
Planting trees to remind everyone of Queen Elizabeth's 70 years of serving Australia was the idea behind the jubilee funding given she has planted more than 1500 trees herself, Parkes MP Mark Coulton said when he visited Macquarie Home Stay to deliver the grant last June.
"These trees will become part of our boundary fences and create nice hedges and attract bird life, it will be nice not only for the members of the Dubbo community passing by but mainly for the hospital's patients staying with us," Macquarie Home Stay director Rod Crowfoot said.
The working bees arrived early in the day, consisting of members of local community groups supporting the facility for disadvantaged patients from remote towns seeking treatment for life-threatening illnesses that may need affordable accommodations in Dubbo.
The facility has 14 rooms available and plans are underway to expand to have 45 rooms to meet the demand but their $2.45 million funding from the previous government has been rescinded in the recent federal budget.
Mr Crowfoot said they were advised they may be eligible to apply for another funding under a new program called Growing Regions.
He said they rely on the support of benevolent people such as the annual Tour D'Oroc participants led by Dubbo mayor Matthew Dickerson who organises the event, the Country Women's Association, local businesses, and philanthropists.
Every month, up to 170 disadvantaged patients from remote towns apply to stay at the facility.