Birthday wish comes true for Peterborough girl with cerebral palsy after garden makeover

A young girl with cerebral palsy will now be able to make use of her garden after it received a makeover.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 2:05 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st July 2021, 3:25 pm
Sienna with Ed Bailey and Luke Payn from Cross Keys Homes, Gary Gibbs and Paul Duell from Mears and Jon Scunthorpe from Pro Edge Construction
Sienna with Ed Bailey and Luke Payn from Cross Keys Homes, Gary Gibbs and Paul Duell from Mears and Jon Scunthorpe from Pro Edge Construction

Cross Keys Homes Mears and Pro Edge Construction provided a ‘Love Your Garden’ style makeover for Sienna who was unable to use her garden due to it being inaccessible for her wheelchair.

Like any three-year old, Sienna loves playing outside but her family has always worried about her safety in the garden given the uneven ground and lack of child-friendly space it provided.

However, thanks to the combined efforts of three local companies and Cross Keys volunteers, Sienna and her family now have a garden to be proud of and just in time for her fourth birthday celebrations.

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Cross Keys volunteer manager Ed Bailey, who led the community project, said: “When we found out that Sienna wasn’t able to use her garden and realised her birthday wasn’t far away, we knew we had to pull out all the stops to see what we could do to make Sienna’s birthday extra special this year.

“After a few phone calls and a lot of goodwill we had a plan of action in place, and after speaking to Sienna’s parents knew exactly what was required to give Sienna everything she needed from this outdoor space.

“In a short space of time and thanks to everyone’s hard work and determination, particularly Paul Duell from Mears and Jon Scunthorpe from Pro Edge Construction, we were able to transform this once disused garden into a colourful, disability-friendly space, complete with astroturf, raised flower beds, a sandpit and sensory features.”

Last year, Cross Keys set up a Be Kind fund to help residents struggling with the impact of Covid by helping to provide essential items for low income families including white goods, furniture and clothing.

While this application from Sienna’s mother, who is a resident of the housing association, was outside the scope of the Be Kind fund, Cross Keys was keen to help the family and called upon the support of its main partnering contractors, Mears.

Gary Gibbs, Peterborough branch manager of Mears, added: “When we heard about the family’s need for a garden makeover and how it would help benefit Sienna we just wanted to help in any way we could.

“Led by our site manager Paul Duell, we met the family to discuss how we could create a garden which benefitted all of their needs - both Sienna’s, her siblings and mum and dad. To add to the challenge, we knew Sienna’s birthday was coming up so we put a call out to our sub-contractors to see if we could make this happen.

“I have to say a big thank you to the Mears team, Pro Edge, Travis Perkins, Clearview and Sovereign Installation services for stepping up to the plate with time and materials - the teamwork, including working after hours and weekends, meant we were able to complete the garden for Sienna to celebrate her birthday.

“I am proud of our partnership with Cross Keys Homes and our amazing contractors for making this happen and hopefully we have given the family a birthday gift to remember.”

The garden project makeover commenced at the start of June and took just over two weeks to complete with Mears providing the majority of the material and labour with support from their contractors, Pro Edge Construction.

Sienna’s mother, Debra, said: “It has been extremely difficult over the last year with Sienna being cooped up inside that we’re now very much looking forward to spending time in the garden over the summer months and making the most of this lovely space.

“I am so extremely grateful to everyone who has helped and cannot thank everyone enough. This new garden will help make such a difference to Sienna’s life.”

Requests for the Be Kind fund be made online at www.crosskeyshomes.co.uk/be-kind.