Gallery: New garden unveiled for Chavasse VC House Help for Heroes’ Recovery Centre in Colchester

The official opening of the Help for Heroes garden at the Chavasse Recovery centre in Colchester. Ga

The official opening of the Help for Heroes garden at the Chavasse Recovery centre in Colchester. Garden designer, Matt Keightley (left) cuts the ribbon with Mark Taylor (veteran). - Credit: Archant

An award-winning garden has been unveiled at Colchester’s Help for Heroes’ Recovery Centre.

The Hope on the Horizon garden won Silver Gilt at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May, as well as the People’s Choice award.

Designed by Matt Keightley and a team from landscaping firm Farr and Roberts’, the garden has been re-created at Chavasse VC House in Colchester.

Today it was officially opened after the community raised £100,000 towards the project.

The garden, which represents the complex and progressive path of recovery experienced by wounded, injured and sick soldiers and their families, will offer people at Chavasse VC House a tranquil haven for privacy and reflection.


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Mark Taylor, a former warrant officer who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) accepted the garden on behalf of the centre.

He said: “When you have PTSD there are times when you need to walk off, go to a place where there is solitude, a place to be on your own, where you can cry if you need to.

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“The garden provides this. It will be a place for reflection, it is calm and quiet.”

Bryn Parry, co-founder of Help for Heroes, added: “Help for Heroes is all about doing your bit and the phenomenal support of both the public and businesses of Essex has allowed us to create this astonishing garden.”

Mr Keightley said: “I am immensely proud of the garden. It has been an honour and a privilege to work with Help for Heroes and the entire team on this project and I am extremely proud to be able to now hand it over to our heroes.”

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