Charity transform garden for Gosport family

A FAMILY have given a heart-felt thanks after their garden was transformed for their disabled son.

Wednesday, 1st June 2016, 6:45 am
Project manager Lorna Pedersen from WellChild Helping Hands and Osborne transformed the garden of James Shepherd from Lee-on-the-Solent

Emma and David Shepherd were over the moon with the work from charity Well Child, which made their garden accessible for their son James.

The 14-year-old suffers with Angelman syndrome, which affects the nervous system and causes severe physical and intellectual disability.

Before the charity stepped in, the family’s garden was muddy and James, who can only crawl, could not use it when it rained.

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Emma Shepherd with her son James

But the new garden has an artificial lawn and decking, meaning he can use it in any weather.

Mum Emma, from Lee-on-the-Solent, said: ‘It is amazing what the charity has done.

‘We had grass before so if it had rained we had to wait a long time for it to dry out.

‘It will make a huge difference to James. He can now use the garden for much more of the year than before.’

Emma Shepherd with her son James

As well as the artificial grass, there is also a water play area.

Emma added: ‘Part of James’ condition is that he has a fascination with water.

‘The new water play area is brilliant and gives him a place to go.

‘He can now spend a lot of time in the fresh air and sunshine, especially with summer coming.’

The makeover was completed by staff at company Osborne. They partner with Well Child’s Helping Hands project and take time from their normal working day to help the charity.

Lorna Pedersen, project manager, said: ‘At Helping Hands, we support families who have children with complex care needs.

‘It can be difficult for these families to get the support they need.

‘James and his family were put forward for our help and we really wanted to make the garden somewhere James could go.

‘There is a lot of funding available for people to make changes to their houses to cater for a disabled child.

‘But there is little funding for gardens – that’s what we like to do.’