A little while ago, we told the story of Ellie who was hoping to win a competition from website MyBuilder.com to have a garden makeover.
Winning the competition would mean that wheelchair user Ellie, who has Cerebral Palsy, would be able to get out into her garden and enjoy the benefits of being in the great outdoors!
As part of the competition, MyBuilder searched high and low for Britain’s Worst Garden and receiving hundreds of entries. Each was as deserving as the next, detailing woes of gardens forgotten and neglected in the face of tragic life events from nearly fatal heart attacks, terminal illnesses and life‐limiting disabilities to divorces and financial difficulties.
Mum Nicola Machin entered the competition hoping to give her daughter Ellie, who suffers from cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus and epilepsy, a safe place to play outside. She had no idea that a month later she would beat over 200 other entries and receive nearly 1,400 votes to win a £1,000 prize towards a new garden.
“I had an email in my inbox saying ‘would you like to win a £1,000 towards your garden’? I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try. I took Ellie outside to take a picture and entered it on the website. The response was phenomenal, I didn’t expect to get that many votes, I was expecting something like 50‐60 votes, not a 1,000 plus! Ellie obviously struck a chord but there were loads of other entries that deserved to win, we’re just really lucky to be chosen. She has been so excited to have a garden where she can go out and play ‘dirt’ as she calls it, and to pot her flowers,” Nicola said.
Ellie’s story really did strike a chord with the voters. She couldn’t move around her garden because the slabs weren’t wide enough to accommodate her wheelchair. Local parks or the gardens of friends weren’t options either, as they weren’t always disability‐accessible. Playing outside, something crucial to a child’s development and happiness, was something Ellie was greatly missing out on.
The garden took five days to create and was no easy task, but with the help of MyBuilder tradesman Chris Gilbert and many other generous local businesses, the project came together.
Ryan Notz, CEO and Founder MyBuilder.com said: “The aim of the Grand for your Garden competition was to transform someone’s life, not just create a beautiful new garden. Selecting a winner was extremely difficult as there were so many touching stories that deserved to win. In the end we chose Nicola and Ellie because they had so much public support, and it was a chance to improve the lives of a single parent family who have to live with a significant disability everyday.”
Below are some photos of the garden before, during and after.