Garden SOS answered to fulfil boy’s dream

Harry Harding in his new garden
Photo: Lee Hellwing
Harry Harding in his new garden Photo: Lee Hellwing
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A 12-year-old boy who suffers from acute cerebral palsy has been able to explore his garden for the first time after builders responded to his parent’s SOS.

Harry Harding, of Bourne, is unable to walk or talk, has involuntary movements and uses a wheelchair to get around.

He has always loved the great outdoors but had not been able to explore his large garden as it was not wheelchair friendly.

But he is now able to explore the garden at his Exter Street home after kind Bourne firms, M Cuffe Construction Limited, Bullimore Plant Hire and Travis Perkins provided materials and labour for a patio and 53 metre path.

What’s more, mum Kate has created sensory areas including one containing a mosaic she spent 100 hours working on.

Yesterday, representatives from all the firms visited the garden to see Harry’s reaction for the first time, as he whizzed around the new paths and giving the equipment a go.

His father Carl, who also uses a wheelchair, said: “In truly amazing style Harry can drive his chair all around the garden without once driving off the path.

“This sounds simple but for a 12-year-old boy with cerebral palsy and constant involuntary movements it takes a lot of concentration because he steers his head, not a hand, to activate pressure sensors in his head rest.

“The advances Harry has made are truly inspiring when contrasted to the total assistance he has always needed in the past.”

Carl has also been wheelchair-bound since a motocycle accident in 1997 while he was serving in the RAF. He passed his sincere thanks to the firms, who he said had “transformed” Harry’s life.

As part of the work, Bullimore provided aggregates and a power wheelbarrow to move it. The firm also dug out soil.

The Bourne branch of Travis Perkins discounted the slabs to make the path, while Matt Cuffe, of M Cuffe Construction Ltd, enlisted volunteers to complete labour, slab-laying, brick-laying and rendering.

Harry, who attends St Francis School in Lincoln, is well known by sight to many people in Bourne as he often goes to the crossroads in the town centre to watch the traffic go by with his parents.

Matt Cuffe said: “It is just amazing that he can get all his friends around to play games and get involved. It just puts a smile on my face. He is happy, I am happy, the family is happy - it is just brilliant.”

Rick Grindley, branch manager of Bullimore Plant Hire, said: “ To see Harry outside in the garden enjoying himself is just fantastic.”

And Matthew Harrington, branch manager of Travis Perkings in Bourne, added: “Looking back I am glad that I have been involved in it.”