Charity volunteers dig in to help transform garden for Daniel

Members of Simon’s Heroes children’s charity have transformed the garden of an autistic teenager, to help boost his mental and physical well-being.


Daniel Whitehouse from Glascote, has severe autism and sensory processing disorder, which affects his ability to communicate. He has an intense sensitivity to sound and loud unexpected noises cause him distress. Over time, his garden has become a sanctuary; a form of therapy for him, somewhere he enjoys spending time tending to his plants and sowing seeds in his beloved greenhouse.


“Daniel is utterly in his element when he is in the garden,” his mum Nikki said, “It helps to soothe him and I often hear him singing when he’s out there. He is happiest in his garden.”


Daniel’s greenhouse had seen better days, and was looking tired and dilapidated. Some of the glass panels were broken in places and had started to pose a risk to him. The area in which it was positioned was not ideal either, with limited space for Daniel to access it.


Simon’s Heroes stepped in to completely transform the space into a more usable area, this included supplying and assembling a brand new polycarbonate greenhouse and bench, clearing the debris that had accumulated over time, as well as furnishing the area with planters, trellising and a variety of plants and flowers to further enhance the space for Daniel.


“For Dan, gardening makes such a difference to his mood, it’s uplifting, and I really recommend it for anyone living or working with people with autism. It brings him peace but also empowers him and helps his confidence,” explained Nikki.


Dan and his mum spend a lot of time at their family home where he is most contented, and their garden is an important extension of that environment, even more so during the last few months, when social distancing measures have been so restrictive.


“We are both so grateful for everything Simon’s Heroes has done for us. It will make a big difference to both our lives. I know that he will be safe and happy in his new space and that makes me happy. I’d love for people to get to know him better, to see him at his best, smiling and singing, qualities that I know will shine through in his new garden.”


A special thank you to Elliot Flannagan of Flantastic Timbers, Pat Finn of Paul’s of Burbage, Richard Terry and Mark Whitehouse whose contributions were very much appreciated.


Author: C Abbott

Daniel’s garden before Simon’s Heroes stepped in.



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