Clients & their stories
In the summer of 2015 Karen was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. This explained some of the symptoms she had been experiencing; problems with balance, walking and fatigue. She had always had a love of gardening but was finding it difficult to access her garden as it has steep steps, often slippery, with no hand rails, and they were not safe for her to use on her own.
Karen's diagnosis was a shock to her, but she was determined that was not going to stop her doing the things she loved, especially gardening. Due to her condition she had to reduce her working hours to one day a week and her depleted salary meant that she was unable to save any money to pay for the steps to be modified. Gardening for Disabled Trust were able to provide her with a grant in order to build some new, safer steps, with handrails on either side. This meant that she was able to access her garden independently and safely and that she has been able to continue with her hobby.
Karen says: I can't thank the Trust enough. I have been able to get into my garden on my own and I can plan things that I am able to do. It made me feel that I can achieve things, which is priceless. More recently, Karen said: ''The steps have made a huge difference to me, physically and psychologically. Last summer I was hardly out of my garden''
An inspired horticultural therapist in Derbyshire, Caroline set up a fortnightly gardening group at The Green Care home in North Derbyshire, with the help of a grant from Gardening for Disabled Trust. The residents of this 41- bed care home in Dronfield planned the garden, chose the plants and bulbs on a visit to the local garden centre, and grew a whole array of different things...sunflowers, strawberries and even entered the local scarecrow competition.
There has been another spin-off to this: it was so successful, that Caroline was invited to set up a second group at another care home a few miles away. So, following one grant from the Gardening for Disabled Trust, the second group was established and 'seed swaps' between the 2 Care Homes became the norm.
Elaine tells her story:
Hello I’m Elaine,
I’m passionate about my garden, recycling items which would be otherwise destined for the bin and my dog Bear, oh and I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which isa disorder that affects connective tissues supporting the skin, bones, blood vessels, and many other organs and tissues.
My condition limits my ability to get out ‘n’ about and so my garden is very important to me. It enables me to engage with nature, develop habitats and grow plants that benefit/encourage wildlife and also grow organic fruit and vegetables for myself and my family. This in turn helps me both emotionally and physically.
Last year I had a raised vegetable bed made out of recycled wooden flooring, but this was completely unsuccessful due to the nature of the materials used. I feel extremely fortunate to have received a grant from the Gardening for Disabled Trust. With this grant I am now able to have a raised bed built which will last years.
I have had recycled slate floor tiles put in to hold back the soil in the borders. These surround the new raised bed with a pathway between the two. In these borders I have planted rhubarb, loganberries, blackberries, strawberries, currents, a fig, a mulberry and a quince.
I have pot grown tomatoes, courgettes, squash and peppers as the raised bed wasn’t finished in time but I am very excited and looking forward to growing a wide variety of vegetables in it next year.
Thank you again to Gardening for Disabled Trust for making this possible and which will enable me to follow my passion in gardening for many more years to come.