Generous Ripon traders have helped a severely disabled toddler from Bishop Monkton enjoy a new sensory garden at her home.
Two-year-old Chloe Dudley has a rare genetic condition called 1p36 deletion syndrome, meaning she cannot walk or speak, suffers breathing problems which led to her contracting pneumonia three times last year, and relies on others to do everything for her. Because her language and learning development is so delayed, said her mother Liz Dudley, Chloe’s sensory development is all the more important.
The Ripon branch of builders merchant MKM heard of Chloe’s needs and decided to help create a sensory garden at her family’s home.
The firm gave paving and fencing to create a space Chloe can access all year round, with a safe pathway and sheltered environment where she can watch mirrors, lights and windmills, listen to windchimes and a water feature.
“Chloe likes to sit and watch things and the new garden is safe for her,” said Liz. “She can watch the ribbons and mirrors and get visual stimulation, and they’ve also planted herbs at the right level for her to touch them, and camomile she can run her feet through.”
Builder Nathan Proctor, whose daughter is friends with Chloe’s older sister Phoebe, spent two weekends completely transforming the garden with Chloe’s family.
Cascade Garden Centre, Morrisons Ripon Garden Centre, Moorlands Garden Centre and North Yorkshire Timber all donated plants and other materials, and her family have said it is overwhelmed by the generosity it has seen.
“If Chloe is happy it improves quality of life for the whole family, but it would take years to have done this without their support,” Liz added.
“I think it’s just lovely that even when businesses are struggling people will still do their bit for a little local girl.”
The family also organised a raffle to raise enough money to buy Chloe sensory toys and play equipment.
Prizes included Lightwater Valley passes, Leeds Rhino rugby club and York City football club match tickets, and a Segway experience.
The draw was made at The Masons Arms in Bishop Monkton earlier this month.