The heart-warming gesture that brought this Sheffield mum to tears

A disabled youngster can now enjoy some happy adventures in every nook and cranny of his garden thanks to a group of green-fingered volunteers.

Wednesday, 3rd July 2019, 09:18 am
Updated Thursday, 4th July 2019, 16:07 pm

Jamie Chappell needs to use a wheelchair and walking frame to get about due to cerebral palsy and nystagmus, conditions which affect his movement and vision.

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This also restricts the 12-year-old’s ability to play out in the back garden of his family home in Stannington.

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But now that has all changed thanks to the Helping Hands Project, a home improvement programme led by WellChild, the national charity for sick children.

A team volunteers dedicated two days to sprucing up the back yard at the home to ensure Jamie can get better access to all corners of the garden.

Mum Lauren Chappell, aged 30, said: “It will make my sons’ life so much better and will let Jamie get to every bit of the garden.

Lauren with her sons Laim and Jamie in the finished garden with the volunteers who carried out the work. Picture: Steve Ellis

“He absolutely loves being outside, so to see him playing out there with his brother will be so nice.”

She also praised the charity and company for their hard work.

Speaking as they were adding the finishing touches to the garden, she added: “The garden is huge and I have tried to do bits and pieces here and there, but it is looking so much better.

Lauren Chappell with her two sons Jamie and Liam. Picture: Steve Ellis

“I want to say a huge thank you to them, they're amazing.

“I think I’ll be in tears when it’s finished.”

Volunteers from the charity and Rhodar – a firm which specialises in asbestos removal, demolition and remediation works – have levelled the lower area of the garden and added some artificial grass that will give Jamie a nice area to play with his 10-year-old brother Liam.

They have also laid new decking and as Jamie is interested in gardening they have added some flower beds he can look after.

A charity has finished a back garden makeover for Lauren Chappell. Picture: Steve Ellis

While he currently uses a wheelchair, he also needs a space to practice using a walking frame and an electronic chair he will soon be getting.

The charity said replacing uneven paths and surfaces is ‘hugely important to the family’ as it will allow Jamie and his brother to ‘play outdoors together and he’ll be able to strengthen his muscles using the walker.’

WellChild Helping Hands Project Manager Kieran Cullen said: “We are delighted to be able to provide this garden for Jamie where he can get access in his wheelchair to spend time with his family and play with his brother.

“We would like to thank all the hard working volunteers from Rhodar who are lending their support to help Jamie and his family.

“I’m sure the improvements will have a huge impact on Jamie’s quality of life and wellbeing.”

Lauren Chappell with her sons. Picture: Steve Ellis