Mayor of Stowmarket Barry Salmon unveils sensory garden for brain-damaged boy

Formal opening of Callum's garden by Stowmarket mayor, Barry Salmon.

Formal opening of Callum's garden by Stowmarket mayor, Barry Salmon.

A sensory garden for a wheelchair-bound Suffolk boy has been unveiled.

Richard, Rebecca and Callum Winters with Adrian Carter of AkzoNoble.

Richard, Rebecca and Callum Winters with Adrian Carter of AkzoNoble.

Callum Winter, who is five-years-old, and lives in Stowmarket, suffered from starvation of oxygen at birth and has severe brain damage and cerebral palsy.

Three companies surrounding the town, AkzoNobel, Mixbrow and Buildbase, worked together to create the garden for Callum, with the aim of enabling full access to the area so that it enables integration for the family as a whole.

Callum’s mother, Rebecca, said before the work took place there wasn’t much of a garden for the five-year-old, who cannot support any part of his body independently.

Mrs Winter said: “Because he had an extension done for his bedroom, it ripped the garden up.

Callum Winters with dad Richard.

Callum Winters with dad Richard.

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“We could take him to the bottom of the ramp but we couldn’t take him any further.”

Since the mayor of Stowmarket, Barry Salmon, opened the garden, the Winter family have been able to have their first barbecue together since moving into their home.

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A charity in the town, AJ’s Legacy, was contacted by AkzoNobel, which is given an amount of money for community and charity activities each year, to see if there are any projects in the town that staff could give up time to take part in.

Mrs Winter said the opening was a happy occasion and that it was good to be able to thank everyone.

She added: “It was good that they gave up their time, the opening was a nice morning.”

The garden is now fully accessible for Callum, with an artificial turf surface so he can use it in all weather conditions, and a water feature.

Mrs Winter said: “It took them two weeks to do it. They have done a really good job.”

Jayne Jones, from the charity said: “It’s great for Callum with the artificial turf. I thought they did a really good job.”

Callum has also been making the most of the garden, spending time with his sister Caitlin while she plays in the garden. “Callum loves it and he loves the feel of the wind through his hair,” Mrs Winter added.

“He also loves the windchimes which were donated to him by the guys. He loves to listen and things like the windchimes are great for him. He’s really enjoyed being outside. Caitlin is enjoying having him out there, showing him all the stuff and trying to splash him with the water feature, which we have to keep an eye on!”

Callum will also have another sibling to enjoy the garden with, as Mrs Winter is expecting to give birth later this month.

Mrs Winter said: “We’re really pleased with it, and it’s made the garden much more enjoyable. It’s so much nicer for the family.”

For more information on the charity, visit

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