Prisoners from Hollesley Bay carry out DIY SOS style garden transformation for Ipswich family
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Four Hollesley Bay prisoners have helped an Ipswich family transform their back garden into a safer space for two young children to play thanks to a DIY SOS style project.
Becky Ellis and her family live on a busy road in the town – but her eldest son, eight-year-old Ben Greenhalgh, is autistic and he has no sense of danger so she wanted to create a safer space for him and younger brother Isaac, five, to play in.
She got in touch with the Town 102 Kids Charity who paid for tools and together with a local pub owner raised thousands of pounds for the renovation.
Now both the charity and Becky herself have praised the “incredible” efforts of the prisoners – the mother-of-two said she would hire the group again “in a heartbeat”.
“The prisoners were absolutely brilliant, I cannot fault their hard work.
“They helped us to clear away topsoil and cleared away everything that was cluttering up the garden.
“The boys can now ride their bikes with lots of space, it looks really great.
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They have done an incredible job and I would hire them again in a heartbeat.
She added: “It’s hard for Ben out the front as we’re on a road which is full of traffic a lot of the time particularly in busy periods.
“Being autistic he doesn’t have much of a sense of danger and I was constantly worrying about the boys as they weren’t able to use the garden much at all.
“Hopefully they’ll enjoy their new space, they’re spending a lot of time in there after school.
“I know one of the prisoners had a cousin or relative with autism so understood the problems Ben has.”
Sally Budden is director of trustees at the Town 102 Kids Trust.
She, like Becky, is delighted with the result of the project.
“It is really impressive and we can’t thank the boys enough,” she said.
“We were all very pleased with their work ethic, and now it’s complete we hope Becky and the boys will enjoy their new space.
“We helped to pay for the materials that were used for the project. Most of the funds were as a result of fundraising by Julie from The Kingfisher pub who managed to raise well over £3,000 for the family.
“We are very grateful to the prison for allowing this to happen, I know Becky was as pleased as we were so they should be proud of the work they had done.”