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.
WHAT WILL GIVE4GARY DO?
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 sound
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.
TO CREATE THE GARY SIMPSON MEMORIAL GARDEN WE NEED TO:
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.
WHO ARE 4 COMMUNITY TRUST?
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.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
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.
FANTASTIC AND UNIQUE REWARDS
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.