Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity provides early intervention services for children aged 0-5 with Cerebral Palsy and other motor learning impairments. These services support a child to learn, grow and develop to become as independent as possible. All services are provided free of charge and ensure that the family feel supported and cared for as they start a life long journey. They provide Conductive Education, Swimming Sessions, Music Therapy, Speech and Language and Home Play Sessions. The last year has been an extremely difficult year for many people and not least the families who attend their services, as a Charity they have continued to provide support through online sessions. As we enter 2021 they will also be entering their 20th Birthday year, over those years they have supported over 700 families, and hope that over the next 20 years they will be able to support even more families.
Name: Jonathan Ward of Ginger Horticulture
Websites: https://conquestspaces.co.uk/ https://dvlcc.org.uk/
We are delighted to reveal a very special project this Christmas we have designed for the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity to build a surprise garden for the Taylor Johnson family, whose 5-year- old son Joshua has severe complex physical and neurological disabilities. Currently, this challenging sloping garden provides an unsafe and difficult environment for Joshua and his family to use made even more difficult in his aided wheelchair. The surprise will also help mark the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity 20th Anniversary this month highlighting some of the amazing work the centre provides for families with disabled children. Helping pull the landscape industry together has been key for this amazing special project with material donations coming far and wide and many local landscaping companies joining us to help build this garden in just one week!
Never have we fully appreciated the mental and physical benefits that come from having a beautiful and accessible outdoor space as we have in 2020. Lockdown has affected many families, but for those without access to a garden, staying home has undoubtedly been a challenge. With this in mind it didn’t feel right finishing 2020 without a charitable project so we contacted the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s charity to refer a family in need of a new garden.
Joshua Taylor Johnson is blind and unable to move without constant support, but he loves
the sensory experience that comes from being outside. Unfortunately, the family’s garden
consists of a steep, uneven slope, making it impossible for them to take Joshua out in his
walking frame. The family have attempted to build ramps and a patio, however they were
forced to abandon works due to high costs. As a result, Joshua spends most of his time inside.
“Not having a suitable garden for Joshua makes us feel incredibly guilty as parents. Not being able to provide him with a basic space he can enjoy and learn in is always made worse when he hears the neighbour’s children playing outside. Landscaping our garden would be a complete game-changer for Josh, allowing him to meet key milestones such as walking which he loves to do when we can hold him. We’d love to be able to encourage him to crawl and walk freely with his equipment and get the most out of being in a safe space. He loves all sensory aspects of the local wildlife trust gardens, especially everything he hears such as the trickling of water or the wind in the trees.” – Louise Taylor Jonson (Joshua’s Mother).
‘We could immediately see how the sloped landscape made their outdoor space completely inaccessible. Every child should be able to go outside into the fresh air and feel connected to nature, and we are so excited to create a beautiful, safe garden for Joshua and his family to enjoy. It’s truly amazing to see so many businesses contributing materials to help us bring the design to reality; everything from paving stones and plants to timber and resin pathways. We wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without their donations’. – Ross Conquest, MD
of Conquest Spaces.
Construction begins on the 14th of December. As the garden’s design is to be kept a secret from the family, we can only provide some basic images to the media at this stage. We will release more content once we have revealed the finished garden to the family on the 18th of December.
We would like to send our warmest thanks to all the incredible companies involved so far for their overwhelmingly generous donations and time towards this fantastic cause, let’s do this!