“Our brave, smiley four-year-old Elodie has been diagnosed with 25 separate medical conditions in her short life, including the deletion of one of her chromosomes, epilepsy, and autism.

She loves playing outside as it stimulates her sensory needs, but our garden has extremely hard ground and sits on a hill; it didn’t meet her needs, not to mention the fact it was dangerous. We started work on it to make it more suitable, but – as things tend to do when you have a child with complex needs like Elodie – it got put on hold and “Operation Garden” didn’t progress for months.

At the end of 2021, we went to see Father Christmas at Demelza where we got chatting to a member of staff on our way round, and they mentioned that the practical support team might be able to help – so I got in touch.

After hearing our story, they decided this was too big of a job for their volunteers. However, instead of simply telling us it wasn’t possible, they went out of their way to get in touch with a contractor called CC Cousins, who sent a landscaping team out to finish the jobs that needed doing.

They extended our gate for easier access, completed the ramp that runs through the garden, put in a new fence, finished the slabbing, cleared all the mess and laid down new turf. They also did a repair on our outbuilding and made a seating area out of sleepers just because they wanted to. The transformation is incredible!


Elodie's new garden has a new decking ramp, and Elodie is playing in it


I'd like to thank the practical support team at Demelza for putting us forward for this, and also the team at CC Cousins for generously donating their time and materials to get the job done!

Advocating for a child with complex needs and disabilities is a constant battle, but the kindness we receive from charities like Demelza is something that provides a glimmer of light through lots of heavy dark clouds.

I can't wait to make a summer full of memories with Elodie in our new garden. We can finally start making it our own!” – Elodie’s mum, Tori

Our practical support volunteers can help with a range of activities so that you can focus on taking care of your child and making memories. From gardening to pet care, find out how Demelza can support your family below.

Practical Support Volunteers