New music garden for children with disabilities opens in Finchley

Times Series: Norwood's new music garden is put to good use. Norwood's new music garden is put to good use.

A new music garden for young people with disabilities has opened in Finchley thanks to the fundraising efforts of three men.

Norwood unveiled the £40,000 garden at its Buckets and Spades short break service which is used by young people with learning disabilities and physical impairments.

The money was raised for the facility with the help of charity fundraisers, Douglas Silas, Paul Tuhrim and Stephen Harrison.

Mr Silas, who has Cerebellar Ataxia, a rare, degenerative disorder, completed a bike ride in Israel in 2011, a coast-to-coast challenge across Sri Lanka last year and recently took part in five- day bike ride in Israel and Madagasca, raising funds for Norwood along the way.

After watching the garden being unveiled, he said: “It was a wonderful feeling to see first-hand the music garden and to tangibly see how the money we have raised is already benefitting children there which will be enjoyed by so many other children in the years to come.”

Guests were invited to celebrate the new facility and try out its specialist equipment as Rabbi Alan Plancey, a member of Norwood’s advisory council, lit the Hanukkah candles. 

Throughout the planning stages, the young children who use Buckets and Spades were consulted and given the opportunity to hand-pick special garden equipment and musical toys.

The garden will be used to help the children communicate and express themselves.

Elaine Kerr, Norwood’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted that, thanks to the significant sponsorship and generous support of Douglas, Paul and Stephen, we are now able to offer such an enjoyable musical experience through this new brilliantly equipped garden area. 

"What makes it even more special is that the children and young people who regularly benefit from Buckets and Spades were actively involved in bringing the project together.”

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