A SOLIHULL autistic boy who created a memorial garden in Olton for those who have died during the pandemic has met Prince Harry after being handed a top award.
Harvey Eustace was crowned winner of the Special Recognition category of the 2021 WellChild Awards, in association with GSK and he was given his award at a private garden party at Kew Gardens in London.
Harvey, who has autism, sensory processing disorder and ADHD, met the Duke of Sussex with his mum Stephanie Freeman Inspired by his mum Harvey decided he wanted to do something nice for the community to help people, particularly those who had lost someone whether it be family, a friend or neighbour during the first national lockdown.
Stephanie contacted her councillor at the time Ade Adeyemo about bringing the idea to life.
With a little bit of help from Love Solihull he held a fundraising event at Olton Jubilee Park where he raised £1,000 to help his drawings come to life.
Now Harvey’s design for the garden is becoming a reality with a circular plot with a cherry blossom tree at the centre and four flower beds, two will have a rainbow design and two will have wildflowers.
There will be two benches marked with the iconic yellow heart surrounded by imprints of the communities handprints.
The 11-year-old was nominated for the award by his mum.
She said: “Harvey lacks confidence and I think this will help him to realise what a good thing he is doing for his community and what a thoughtful and empathetic thing he has come up with, something that Harvey sometimes struggles with.
“We are so proud of him, he just doesn’t understand how much people in the community love his ideas and are so grateful to him.
“Harvey being autistic, once he has something in his head, he gets very passionate about it.
“I decided to set him a task to come up with some ideas to help people. He has been inspired by how his community has come together.
“We didn’t have a great start to lockdown, with me coming down with Covid-19 while heavily pregnant.
“We as a family relied on our community to help and they really pulled through for us.
“I had been showing the children all the feel-good things, the paying it forward, random acts of kindness the community have done, in a time when there are dark days, down days and struggles I wanted to highlight to them the good that was happening out there.”
Harvey was picked from hundreds of nominations in his category which celebrates the courage of children coping with serious illnesses or complex conditions and honours the dedication of professionals who go the extra mile to help sick children and their families.
The event, which was also attended by celebrities including Ed Sheeran, Ronnie Wood, Amanda Holden, AJ Pritchard and Abby Quinnen, was rounded off with an acoustic performance by singer Anne-Marie.