Charity and volunteers build safe garden for Stepney boy with autism

PUBLISHED: 09:00 13 October 2018

The team from BCD and WellChild built a safe garden for Aasim Islam to meet his needs.

The team from BCD and WellChild built a safe garden for Aasim Islam to meet his needs.

Basit Mahmood

A children’s charity and a travel management company have built a special garden for an autistic boy from Stepney.

Volunteers from BCD Travel teamed up with WellChild to build a safe garden for boy with autism. Picture: Basit MahmoodVolunteers from BCD Travel teamed up with WellChild to build a safe garden for boy with autism. Picture: Basit Mahmood

WellChild and staff from BCD Travel carried out the work at the home of Aasim Islam in Masters Street, which includes sensory play equipment and a white board.

Their kindness ensures that the six-year-old has a safe and secure place to play.

Aasim’s mother Kaleda Begum, 32, said her son is non-verbal, which can be both frustrating for him and challenging for her.

His condition means he needs to be supervised at all times, has no concept of danger and likes to put stones and other hazardous objects in his mouth, which meant that the garden was not a safe place for environment for him to play in.

Ms Begum: “My son is really hyper and active.

“Having this garden is life-changing, this space for him makes life easier in so many ways.

Ms Begum was grateful to WellChild, saying that much more needed to be done to help children with complex needs access safe play areas.

She said that the accessible garden would help him burn off some of his energy and improve his wellbeing, without having to worry all the time about him being in a safe and secure environment.

Lorna Pederson, head of the helping hands project at WellChild, highlighted how children who have complex needs can find going to parks and other outdoor play areas that are not suited to their needs to be upsetting and distressing.

She added: “There are more than 100,000 children and young people living with complex and long term health conditions.

“Helping hands is working with them to provide safe spaces, particularly children who cannot access children’s play facilities.”

BCD Travel raised £3,000 which they gave to WellChild to be used to help in projects such as the garden that was built for Aasim.

Lacey Brown, BCD Travel executive assistant and volunteer who helped build the garden, said: “As part of our team building exercise we wanted to do something that made a difference.

“We wanted to help children.”

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