Joy for Burgess Hill family as businesses create special garden for disabled daughter

A Burgess Hill family received a ‘life-changing’ Christmas gift when landscaping businesses joined forces to create a special garden for their disabled daughter.

Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 5:28 pm
Part of the finished garden

Professionals worked around the clock in the lead up to Christmas to transform Kyle and Jay Joy’s garden into a space for daughter Elexia to play.

The seven-year-old, also known as Lexi, experiences seizures and also has an unknown condition that presents with her being non-verbal. She cannot walk without aid.

The garden has paving, a fence, a mud kitchen and a willow dome – providing Lexi with a suitable and safe place for her to play.

The team with the Jay family in the garden

Mum Jay said: “Lexi loves it, it’s actually life changing. She’s going to be having so much fun in it.

“It’s amazing Lexi finally has a safe garden that she can play in. Never thought it would ever happen.”

Saving money had been a struggle for the family, as only Kyle could work with Jay Lexi’s full time carer.

The garden is a suitable and safe place for Lexi to play

At the time, Kyle said: “With the little savings we have each month maybe in the next ten years it will be finished – it’s difficult to pay for all bills on a single wage and have money left over.”

However, when gardener Ross Conquest heard about the Joy’s garden project while searching for a local cause to support, he decided to step in and take on the entire garden project as a Christmas gift for the family.

Ross, the head consultant and MD of Conquest Creative Spaces, rallied a number of local firms to work around the clock to get the garden completed for Christmas.

After sharing his plan on a Facebook group for landscape industries professionals, Ross was overwhelmed by the response he had from businesses.

The team hard at work

Gardeners Miranda Munday donated £150 of plants, while Eva Hall came to help weave the willow dome, local neighbour & Gardener Matt Riddle Steel pitched in a day to help and also Tania Oddi asked for a day off from her boss so she could also do the same.

Other local contractors came to help with the build, including Paul Greenyer from Insideout home and garden improvements and James Coleman at Sussex Landscapes.

Local well-known suppliers such as Garden Sage Nurseries kindly donated all the planting and trees that were provided and Beacon Fencing ltd donated all the timber pergola and arbour, while the barkchip, play pit sand, topsoil, and specialist aggregates were provided by BuryHill Landscape Supplies in Horsham.

London Stone, the biggest contributor, gave a donation worth thousands of pounds in the form of patios, paths, and grouting.

Sands and cements were provided by Parkers Building Supplies (Hassocks branch), while the rubber chippings were donated by Richard Bickler from Arbour Landscape Solutions. Even companies such as Everedge donated the steel edgings needed for the pathways.

Conquest Creative Spaces donated any remaining missing items like the turf, dressings, and the willow dome.

Ross said: “It was a really big success, we got the community involved. It was lovely - a really nice thing to do at Christmas.”

The work was completed in three and a half days, and the garden was unveiled before Christmas.

Jay said: “We can’t thank every single person that has made our garden possible enough, every donation from all the companies and every person who came and helped are just amazing.

“The whole experience has made me realise that being a special needs family, we aren’t invisible to everyone, even though it can feel like it at times.

“They are some very kind people out there. And a special big thank you to Ross – without you this would never of happened.

“We still can’t believe it happened to us, Lexi is going to enjoy it for years to come. Thank you all so much.