The UK’s longest surviving quad amputee and amputee charity campaigner Ray Edwards MBE has joined forces with landscape designer Edward Mairis to create a special entry for this year’s Hampton Court RHS Flower Show. The garden will represent a message of hope to amputees and their families as they confront the challenge of accepting a dramatically changed life. Edward was a winner at last year’s Hampton Court Show, and the determined pair have high hopes for this year.
Ray Edwards, who campaigns through Limbcare – the pioneering charity he founded, will be using the RHS entry to:
- Actively involve other amputees with the work of creating the garden, under the expert guidance of David Sutton, Director of The Garden Concierge Ltd who is leading the landscaping of the project – inspiring both those involved in creating the garden and the visitors who will enjoy it.
- Act as a focal point for his £3m crowdfunding quest to raise money for an ambitious new Amputee Well Being Centre – a place where amputees and their families can go to as they make the journey from hospital to home (justgiving.com/crowdfunding/len-amos).
Once the Well Being Centre is built, the two projects will come together, with the garden designed by Edward Mairis becoming an integral part of the new Centre, and a focal point for peace and reflection to support amputees on their journey from healthcare to home.
Award-winning garden designer Edward Mairis says:
“The Limbcare Garden stands out because it brings a message of hope to amputees and their families who have the huge challenge of accepting a dramatically changed life. The garden symbolises how the charity gives hope and security. Within this calming space, the amputee can face up to what has happened to them and then learn to think differently about what’s important in life. The garden offers a sense of hope in the healing process, the verve of nature showing great resilience, growth and adaptability to the amputee.
“It is also important to us to involve amputees in the creation of the garden. This will be another example of the way that Ray inspires and motivates other amputees, and I am delighted a number of people Limbcare has supported have already signed up to help build the garden.”
Ray Edwards MBE, knows the traumatic journey the garden represents only too well. He became an amputee as a result of septicaemia in 1987 and the challenges that he faced and overcame are the inspiration behind the garden. Since becoming an amputee Ray has dedicated his life to offering other amputees (and their families – all too often forgotten in the rehabilitation process) hope and support. He founded the charity Limbcare to support this aim.
Ray Edwards MBE, Chairman and Founder of Limbcare, says:
“My personal journey from the rehab centre to home was hell. A ‘halfway’ centre to ease my frustrations and understand my disability would have been an incalculable help to me. That’s why we’re determined to use the Hampton Court garden to kick-start our £3m crowdfunding campaign to build a Limbcare Wellbeing Centre. It will be a place where amputees and their families can use to support their journey from hospital to home.”
The Limbcare Garden contains features representing the needs and challenges facing amputees, and the support available. For example, the bridge over the pebble stream represents the amputee reaching out to the charity and receiving a helping hand. One seating area provides a communal space to share and another seat is an intimate space to get away.
The planting is designed to offer a breathing space away from the clinical environment, a human, calming space where the power of nature to heal is manifest.Get your copy of The OT Magazine