The UK’s longest surviving quad amputee and amputee charity campaigner Ray Edwards MBE is celebrating today as the garden he joined forces with landscape designer Edward Mairis to create for this year’s Hampton Court RHS Flower Show took the Silver Medal. The garden represents a message of hope to amputees and their families as they confront the challenge of accepting a dramatically changed life.
Ray Edwards, who campaigns through Limbcare – the pioneering charity he founded, championed 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 led the landscaping
of the project – inspiring both those involved in creating the winning garden and the visitors
who will now 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. (https://www.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 judges recognised the Limbcare Garden as outstanding 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 was important to us to involve amputees in the creation of the garden. This has been another example of the way that Ray inspires and motivates other amputees, and I am delighted to have had the support of so many people Limbcare has supported over the years.”
Ray Edwards MBE, knows the traumatic journey the garden represent 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 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 our winning Hampton Court garden to kickstart 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.
Limbcare was formed on 8th June 2010 by Ray Edwards MBE (the UK’s Longest surviving quad amputee), Alex Hyde-Smith, Roy Wright and Barry Perrin. To create empathy, not sympathy, to all amputees and the limb impaired.
About Edward Mairis
Edward Mairis brought a new style of garden design to the Hampton Court Flower Show in 2017. “Poetic Gardens” respects all traditional horticultural disciplines, the human senses and then adds another dimension, the effect on the heart of the visitor. Unlike other garden styles, this one is not a visual categorisation, to understand the garden is to feel with it your heart.
About The Garden Concierge
David Sutton, Director of The Garden Concierge Ltd is proud to be supporting Limbcare and will be landscaping the garden. David excels at understanding what his clients want and transforms gardens with ease. He thrives on turning any outdoor space into the perfect haven for his clients to enjoy. The Garden Concierge Team specialises in landscape construction and maintenance working through the South East.