THE FAMILY of the autistic boy who created a memorial garden in Olton for those who died during the pandemic is calling on fellow residents to nominate those who have made a difference to children and young people’s lives.
Harvey Eustace was handed the Special Recognition category of the 2021 WellChild Awards at a special ceremony in London’s Kew Gardens last year where he and his mum, Stephanie Freeman, met Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex.
Now Stephanie is calling on Silhillians to put their heroes forward.
She said: “It was such a great experience for us all to be involved in and something we will never forget.
“It would be terrific for another child or professional from our region to be a winner.”
The family receive support from the WellChild Family Tree peer-to-peer support network where families with children with complex needs connect with each other for support and advice.
Harvey has Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder and ADHD.
During the first national lockdown the 12-year-old was inspired by his mum to do something nice for the community to help people, particularly those who had lost someone inthe pandemic.
Stephanie contacted her councillor, who at the time was Liberal Democrat Ade Adeyemo, about bringing the idea to life.
With help from Love Solihull Harvey held a fundraising event at Olton Jubilee Park where he raised £1,000 to help his drawings come to life.
There’s 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 community’s handprints.
WellChild chief executive, Colin Dyer said: “There are more children and young people than ever before in the UK living with long-term, serious health needs. The pandemic placed these children and families under more pressure than many of us can comprehend.
“The WellChild Awards 2022 will be a unique opportunity to recognise and highlight the immense challenges they continue to face and celebrate the remarkable positivity, resilience and spirit they have demonstrated.”
Nominations close at midnight on February 20.
For more or an application visit www.wellchild.org.uk/awards.