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Stowmarket: Generous firms to build sensory garden for severely disabled boy Charlie Middleton

11:00 26 April 2014

Staff from PPG are behind a project to build a sensory garden for Cheryl Middleton and her son Charlie, six, who has severe brain damage, cerebral palsy and severe epilepsy.

Staff from PPG are behind a project to build a sensory garden for Cheryl Middleton and her son Charlie, six, who has severe brain damage, cerebral palsy and severe epilepsy.

A six-year-old severely disabled boy is to have his garden transformed thanks to the kind-hearted generosity of several businesses in his town.

Charlie Middleton, from Kingfisher Way, Stowmarket, suffered serious brain damage at birth, was placed on a ventilator and rushed to intensive care.

Since then he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, severe epilepsy, multiple seizures and scoliosis. He also has severe sight impairment and is fed via a tube.

Workers at the town’s PPG factory, a global supplier of paint, heard about Charlie through the Stowmarket charity, AJ’s Legacy.

So far paint staff have managed to get around half-a -dozen firms to sign up to supply materials and help build a sensory garden for Charlie.

His mother, Cheryl, 35, said she and her husband Robin, also 35, had been left “completely speechless” by the support.

“We are massively grateful to everyone involved, it will make such a difference for Charlie,” she said.

“It’s been incredible. At the moment there’s nothing really for him outside and he loves being out. If he’s stuck inside it’s pretty boring for him and it’s good for him to be out and experiencing things like plants growing and to relax.

“We had no idea about the scale this is going to be on – all we expected was a raised bed, but they have
gone way above what we were expecting.”

Charlie goes to the Thomas Wolsey School in Ipswich as well as spending one day a week at Cedars Park Primary School in Stowmarket.

Daniel Vile, 30, who works in the colour department at PPG, said: “The garden is going to have a sensory area with interesting things for Charlie to be in contact with.

“There will be a covered walkway if the weather is not good so he can go out.

“It’s going to have a water feature because the sound will be good for him.”

He said the garden would normally have cost more than £5,000. Today the PPG team are fundraising for the garden at the town’s Asda store.

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