Sensory garden gives Alannah a new lease of life thanks to Weston charity

PUBLISHED: 08:00 17 February 2018

Alannah Edwards.

Alannah Edwards.

Submitted

A six-year-old girl who cannot walk and talk has been given a new lease of life with the help of a Weston-super-Mare charity.

Alannah Edwards, who lives in Weston Village with her parents Andy and Lisa and 11-year-old sister Ella, is registered blind and has a global developmental delay which means she cannot sit unaided or stand.

Andy, said: “All her needs, such as feeding, changing, and bathing, are met by us.”

As she got older and bigger, her family found it increasingly difficult to carry her upstairs to wash and sleep.

Her family raised money and secured a disabilities facilities grant to have a downstairs wet room and bedroom built, with lifting hoists.

Andy said: “After the build we were left with a muddy, inaccessible garden. We needed it landscaped to allow Alannah level access so she can be wheeled into her bedroom.

“We thought she could benefit from her outside space which would meet her sensory needs such as sweet smelling flowers or rustling tall grass, wind chimes and so on.”

The Axentis Michael Trust, which was set up in 2003 in memory of hotelier Axentis Michael, provided £5,000 to create a sensory garden.

Andy said: “The garden has been finished, and Alannah already really enjoys it.

“When the weather gets better, it will be a wonderful outside space for her to explore, and will significantly enhance her sensory experience.

“It has given us the ease of access to Alannah’s room and a new lease of life. She has the freedom to explore her home surroundings and we will all now be able to enjoy our home as a family for many years to come.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible generosity of the Axentis Michael Trust. We are extremely thankful.”

Alex Demetriou, from the trust, said the charity was delighted to help Alannah and her family.

He said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to be able to provide something which will go just a little way to improving the quality of life for Alannah, and to make life that little bit easier for her caring family.”

A memorial ball with celebrity guests will raise money for the trust on the Grand Pier on March 3.

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