Charlie gets to play in his garden for the first time after it gets a makeover

A PORTSMOUTH youngster can now play in his garden after a team of volunteers came into give it a lightning revamp.

By Gemma Wardle
Friday, 31st May 2019, 6:51 pm
Charlie Phillips, four 
Picture: Sarah Standing (300519-836)
Charlie Phillips, four Picture: Sarah Standing (300519-836)

Charlie Phillips, four, from Drayton, has had a garden makeover because of the WellChild charity and a team of volunteers from Hilti.

Charlie has global development delay, hypotonia, laryngomalacia and respiratory difficulties. He is nonverbal and understanding the world around him can be challenging.

He finds it difficult to walk and needs close supervision, with no danger awareness he often gets upset from not being understood.

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Standing in the middle, Kieran Cullen, project manager from WellChild with Katie Phillips and her twin boys (left) Charlie and Louis (4) and all the volunteers from Hilti. Picture: Sarah Standing (300519-859)

WellChild is a national charity for sick children, and its Helping Hands project transforms garden for children and young people living with serious illnesses or exceptional health needs across the UK.

Charlie loves exploring and playing in nature but current broken paving slabs and uneven lawn made it dangerous and impossible to play outside with his brothers.

His mum Katie Phillips said she had always wanted ‘a safe place for Charlie to play… it will make such a big difference!’

An artificial lawn, a herb garden  and a sensory playhouse were amongst plan to transform the outdoor space. It is hoped the garden will encourage Charlie’s growth and development, allowing him to be more independent.

Katie joked: ‘Everyone will be living outside.’

The Hilti team were excited that a WellChild project could be completed in Portsmouth and it was all hands on deck to get the project finished in time.

Twin brother Lewis and older brother Jacob, 10, were also previously unable to go outside. Likewise, Katie’s parents also help to look after Charlie and his brothers.

With the new garden, the brothers hope to spend lots of time learning and playing together outside for quality family time.