The Heroes Garden Project, supported by Daily Gazette, has reached its £100,000 target and is continuing to attract support from Colchester's local community with the total standing at £110,000 to date. The project, which includes the Chelsea Flower Show’s BBC/RHS People’s Choice Hope on the Horizon, will provide a tranquil space at the Help for Heroes Recovery Centre in Colchester, Chavasse VC House, for wounded heroes and their families to reflect on their injuries or sickness and focus on their recovery and future.
Since its launch in May, the Heroes Garden Project has inspired many supporters. Music festivals and concerts, school fayres, flower-themed dresses designed and auctioned as well as cheques and online donations have all played a part in helping to reach the target. Staff at UK Power Network organised a golf and angling day raising a staggering £10,000! Another supporter asked his guests to donate to the project rather than buy presents for his wedding anniversary party which raised £500 as a result.
The Help for Heroes Recovery Centre, Chavasse VC House, is a 29 bedroomed, purpose-built house providing direct practical support for wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans. Within the centre the Support Hub offers guidance on a range of needs such as housing and financial. It also connects individuals to other partner charities. The health and well-being of each hero is taken care of at the Centre too, as it embraces a holistic approach to the recovery process. Sports recovery sessions such as wheelchair rugby, gym inductions and individual workouts in the adapted gymnasium plus complementary therapies ensure that each person who stays receives the best support as they prepare to make the transition to civvy street or adjust to life post injury as a veteran.
The garden means that the recovery programme can now extend outside the building, getting the ‘’blokes’ (the men and women of the armed forces) into the fresh air and taking part in new programmes such as horticultural therapy workshops.
Steve Schollar, Centre Manager says: “Every day I have been moved at the support our local community has shown for our Recovery Centre and for the work Help for Heroes is doing to provide ongoing support for our wounded heroes. I would like to thank each and every person who has written a cheque, donated online, pledged via text, organised an event or donated materials to help fund this project. This is just the beginning of a long battle of recovery for our heroes and the garden will help them through this journey.”
Bryn Parry OBE, Co-Founder of Help for Heroes says: “Help for Heroes is all about ‘doing your bit’ and the phenomenal support of both the public and businesses in Essex has allowed us to create this astonishing garden. It offers both Serving and Veteran members of the Armed Forces who suffered life-changing injuries and illnesses with a tranquil space for reflection; both of what has happened and the future.”
If you would like to help keep the Heroes Garden growing Sign up and Support to become a Friend of Help for Heroes! www.helpforheroes.org.uk/donate