Everything’s rosy in the garden for Leigh

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A NATIONAL charity and the Bury Free Press have given a helping hand to a Bury St Edmunds couple, whose garden has been adapted to make it accessible for their disabled daughter.

Fourteeen-year-old Leigh Meekin has a severe form of Angelman syndrome, a genetic disorder which means she has seizures and cannot walk or talk.

Last week, Wellchild, a national charity for sick children, organised a team of volunteers from Natwest to transform the family’s back garden at their Priors Avenue home.

The Bury Free Press has also helped as its Helping Hand Fund, supported by St Edmund’s Wheel, gave the family £500 in 2010 to put towards the work.

Leigh’s mother, Emma, said: “It’s unbelievable how much they’ve done. They’ve been amazing.”

The paths have been widened for Leigh’s wheelchair and decking has been used to raise levels, with in-built ramps replacing steps.

Emma and husband Andrew, who also have a nine-year-old son, Drew, had already adapted their bungalow to create a bedroom and bathroom for Leigh, but the garden needed work so that Leigh could benefit.

“We always knew it was going to be a problem but obviously we were more worried about her care,” said Emma,

Last Friday, after two full days of work by regional managers from Natwest and Wellchild’s project manager Lee Trunks, Leigh was able to go out and enjoy the new space.

Emma said: “She was giggling the whole time, she absolutely loves it.”

It is hoped Leigh will soon be able to play on a wheelchair swing which until now she has not been able to use.

Mr Trunks said: “Being cooped up inside isn’t great and I’m sure it’s difficult for the family. This has been done with Leigh in mind but the whole family will benefit.”