Jo Haydon profile

Project by Jo Haydon


Jo Haydon profile

Project by Jo Haydon

We did it
On 26th November 2021 we successfully raised £10,642 with 91 supporters in 41 days

To commemorate the untimely death of Gary Simpson by creating a sensory room & garden for use by disabled children in Sandwell.

New stretch target

Additional funding will allow us to upgrade the new garden building for the sensory room and provide more established plants. 

We will also use additional funds to organise a series of events designed to engage and inspire small groups of children with additional needs that can be held in the garden next summer. 


Our Give4Gary campaign seeks to make a difference in the lives of children with additional needs whilst also commemorating the life of Gary Simpson.  Gary was the father of an autistic son supported by 4 Community Trust, he was also an active volunteer and a huge supporter of our work. Sadly Gary died on 17th July 2021 as a result of a tragic accident. 

Before his untimely death, Gary, a qualified Landscape gardener, who also worked locally as a manager for Biffa had pledged to create a much needed sensory garden at our new respite centre Dorothy House in West Bromwich. Unfortunately, with work due to start imminently, Gary was involved in a tragic and ultimately fatal road accident while riding his motorbike in nearby Stourbridge.



Give4Gary aims to secure £10,000 (with a stretch target of £20,000) to create the "Gary Simpson Sensory Garden" in his memory and leave a lasting legacy from Gary's tragic death to benefit children with a disability from across the local area.

As can be seen from the photos below, at present the garden is an overgrown mess. Through our Crowdfunder, we are asking both individuals and businesses for their help in fulfilling Gary’s vision by providing support to create an amazing new sensory garden along with specialist play equipment and a wonderful sensory room. This will transform this overgrown mess into a beautiful and peaceful space is full of sights, smells, textures and sounds that can be used year-round to delight and educate children who live with a disability. 

The garden at Dorothy House as it is currently:




With your help we hope to create something more like this:


The design will include:

Safe sensory planting that emphasises texture, smell, sight and sound1633861442_garden_1.jpg

A space to interact with plants


Play equipment suitable for children with a disability


An amazing sensory room built within a new timber garden building


These much-needed facilities will be used by both disabled children who come to Dorothy House for respite care and also be open for use by other children and adults with a disability living locally.

Access to facilities of this kind is transformative for young people living with a wide range of physical, sensory and learning disabilities, providing a safe place with exciting and stimulating ways to interact with and learn about the world. For their parents and carers, the ability to access these facilities also offers a short period of much-needed respite from the day-to-day challenges of caring for a child with additional needs. 

Sensory experiences of this kind are not only beneficial for children and their carers but also for many adults with serious disabilities. An important goal for us is to open up these new facilities to anyone who wants to use them regardless of age, disability or home address. We will also ensure that cost does not become a barrier.


1. Clear the existing overgrown garden,

2. Create new pathways and hard landscaping including ensuring access to all of the garden is safe and practical for everyone regardless of their ability,

3. Improve the soil, then purchase and plant a wide array of safe tactile, visually appealing and aromatic plants to ensure that the garden remains interesting year-round,

4. Purchase and install suitable play equipment,

5. Purchase and install a wooden chalet which will become our sensory room including providing heat, light and power,

6. Decorate this space, install furniture, flooring, and tactile soft furnishings to make it a warm and cosy space, then fit a range of interactive lighting, sound and other sensory equipment to offer a fantastic experience for people with a wide range of disabilities,

7. Recruit a team of volunteers who will help us keep the sensory garden in top condition and work with young people with disabilities to help them engage with the space.


4 Community Trust is a locally established and run social enterprise (a kind of not for profit organisation) which is dedicated to creating equal opportunities for all the residents of Sandwell, particularly children. 

We currently run two centres, one in Oldbury and the other in West Bromwich, from where we provide a range of on and off-site services for the local community, including:

  • After school clubs for mainstream and children with additional needs, 
  • Emotional wellbeing support programmes
  • Apprenticeship opportunities for young people not in education, employment and training 

Earlier this year we took on the challenge of converting Dorothy House in Oldbury into a place where families with children who have additional needs can seek short term/overnight respite care. Gary had kindly agreed to use his skills and connections to help us create a wonderful sensory garden at Dorothy House for use by children who have special needs. Unfortunately, before this could be done he was tragically killed in a road traffic accident.


Every contribution however large or small makes a difference and there are lots of ways you can help:

  • You can help us reach more people by sharing our campaign with your friends, family or on social media
  • You can donate to our crowdfunding campaign
  • You can purchase one of our wonderful rewards 
  • You can get in touch and volunteer your time 
  • Businesses may want to help out by sponsoring specific parts of the scheme or by providing services and materials for free
  • You can run a fundraiser and donate the proceeds to the Give4Gary campaign

Everyone who helps us to create Gary's legacy will be recognised both on our website and in a new plaque in the garden unless they specifically ask to remain anonymous. 


We really need your help, but we also want to make sure that our crowdfunding campaign is fun. Whilst you can make a simple donation via the button at the top right-hand side of this page, but you can also choose to take up one of our unique rewards. In exchange for a set donation, our rewards offer an exciting range of items and experiences. These are all listed on the right-hand side of this page, why not check them out, we think they are amazing!

Update 17th November 2021

In response to an amazing offer from Power To Change of £5000 towards Give4Gary we have extended the campaign term and reduced the initial target to £10,000 and our Stretch target to £20,000 to help endure we have the best possible chance of maximising the funding raised.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£45 or more

Buy a plant for the garden and get one for home

This reward will provide wonderful sensory plants for use in the Gary Simpson Memorial Garden and entitle you to receive a wonderful sensory plant for your garden at home. Please note plants must be collected from Dorothy House.

£10 or more

A permanent thank you

Everyone who makes a donation of £10 or more will unless they ask to remain anonymous receive a permanent thank you on our website and also on a plaque in the garden once it's completed.

£20 or more

Get your photo taken in our garden

This reward will provide a short (30 min) photoshoot in the Gary Simpson Memorial Garden for one person and provides a wonderful add on if you have purchased another reward such as a sensory plant.

£30 or more

Your name or message engraved

This reward will secure you a lasting presence on the outside of our new sensory room chalet with either your name/company name or a short message (max 120 characters) being engraved on the external timber walls.

£40 or more

0 of 20 claimed

Your name or logo stencilled onto our sensory path

Like any great garden, we will need to create a network of accessible sensory paths so that children and other visitors can explore the garden. These paths will include a number of slabs and if you purchase this reward we will stencil your name, your companies name or your logo (in one colour) onto one section of the path.

£50 or more

10 visits to use the sensory room/garden

Prepay for 10 x 1.5-hour visits to use the sensory room and garden for an adult or child with a disability accompanied by one or two carers and receive a £2.50 per visit discount on the normal rate.

£75 or more

1 of 30 claimed

6-inch plaque

A 6-inch square plaque with your name or logo on it placed on a stake in our sensory garden to recognise your companies contribution to our campaign

£80 or more

0 of 30 claimed

Launch Party Invitation

Once the garden is completed, and the weather improves again we will be organising a special VIP party with drinks, a buffet and entertainment to officially open the Gary Simpson Memorial Garden. This reward provides a ticket for one adult plus another adult or two children to attend the launch party.

£200 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Water Feature

This reward will provide a wonderful water feature in the Gary Simpson Memorial Garden which is guaranteed to delight the many young people who visit with its sounds and textures. To thank you for your support we will place a brass plaque on the water feature recognising your support with a short message of your choosing and offer the opportunity to visit Dorothy House and have your photo taken next to the water feature once it's installed.

£250 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Garden Sail

Everyone loves a shady space on a hot day. Through taking up this reward you will not only ensure that the visitors to the Gary Simpson Memorial Garden can find a shady spot to relax, but also you will receive an identical Garden Sail to erect in your garden at home.

£300 or more

1 of 2 claimed

Memorial Bench

This reward will provide a fantastic three seater wooden bench in our sensory garden and includes a 6-inch wide brass plaque mounted to the bench engraved with your own brief message to thank or commemorate a person or event. You will also be invited to visit Dorothy House and get your photograph taken in the Gary Simpson Memorial Garden alongside your bench.

£3,000 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Be a major sponsor

This reward will entitle you to be one of at most three major sponsors of the Gary Simpson Memorial Garden. Each sponsorship will relate to one specific aspect such as the sensory room, the garden itself or the play facilities. Sponsors will receive an invitation to Dorothy House's opening a prominent sign to recognise their support, active promotion via our social media and a permanent mention of our website.

£6,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Headline sponsorship

This reward offers headline sponsorship of Dorothy House & the Gary Simpson Memorial Garden. This will entitle the sponsor to your logo on our website, all signage and promotional materials. It will also include a press release and photo opportunity once the garden is complete and an invitation to speak at the launch.

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