Making over an unkempt garden can transform a home, but for Willenhall-based Nicola Machin, it transformed a life. Her daughter, Ellie Mae, was born with cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, and epilepsy, and has been wheelchair-bound all her life.
As a single mother, Nicola struggled to fix her garden alone and decided to try her luck entering MyBuilder’s ‘Win a Grand For Your Garden’ competition. Ellie’s story struck a chord with voters across the UK and Nicola ended up beating 267 other entries to win a garden makeover.
“The response was phenomenal, I didn’t expect to get that many votes, I was expecting something like 50 votes, 60 votes, not a 1,000 plus! Ellie can’t wait, she has been so excited to have a garden where she can go out and play ‘dirt’ as she calls it, to pot her flowers.”
With the help of materials donated by Hollybush Garden Centre and Travis Perkins, Chris Gilbert from Gilberts Landscaping built a simple garden that would be accessible for a child in a wheelchair. He designed it himself, making sure to include a ramp and slabs that were wide enough to easily navigate in a wheelchair.
Over the span of a week, Ellie went from staring out the dining room window at an overgrown jungle, to wheeling around the new garden with her puppy and stopping occasionally to plant seeds with her sister. After years of turning down invitations because her friends’ homes aren’t wheelchair-accessible, Nicola is thrilled that Ellie will finally be able to host her own barbeques.
“Ellie is naturally very sociable and now she can interact with other children in our own home. They can come over and she can play outside with them instead of being singled out as she was before. She’s a little closer to a normal childhood. I’ve already seen a tremendous change in her. She’s just so happy.”
MyBuilder was founded in 2004 by stonemason Ryan Notz. It has since helped over a million homeowners find a local tradesman they can trust. Whether you want to transform your home or tweak it, we can help you hire the perfect builder for your job.