Building Charity Transforms Garden of Site Manager Battling Brain Tumour

A LEDBURY man’s garden has been restored to its former glory by a building charity after it was left overgrown and out of control as he battled a brain tumour.

More than a dozen volunteers from construction charity Band of Builders (BoB) unveiled the garden to Glenn Ward at the weekend after braving “every type of weather going”, including snow and heavy rain, over the past couple of weeks to carry out the transformation.

Glenn and wife Esme enlisted the help of Band of Builders – a charity that helps tradespeople and their families suffering from illness and injury – after site manager Glenn was left having to learn to walk and talk again after undergoing surgery for a brain tumour.

The 64-year-old collapsed on a building site in November 2020, and after undergoing life-saving surgery for a brain tumour, went on to spend six months in hospital including having to learn to walk and talk again, as well as suffering memory loss. In 2022, he was told the tumour had grown, and underwent more surgery as well as radiotherapy.

Glenn has not been able to work since his first surgery, leading to his pride and joy garden becoming overgrown because he and wife Esme cannot maintain it. During his rehabilitation, his speech therapist recognised that the garden’s deterioration was getting him down, and recommended that the family reach out to Band of Builders.

Building Charity Transforms Garden

Over the course of three initial days, 14 volunteers helped by Glenn’s friends and family battled inclement weather including snow and rain to cut back trees and level the ground to restore the garden to its former glory.

The sodden ground meant they were unable to finish immediately but returned last week to complete the work, which also included repairing block paving, building a new bench, and clearing borders and flower beds, before taking Glenn and Esme on a walk around their transformed garden in a ‘handover’ on Sunday.

Esme said: “We’re absolutely thrilled with the work Band of Builders have done. It’s made a huge difference and is a weight off our shoulders. We just need some dry weather then we can’t wait to sit out there and enjoy the garden in the summer. It was a great team, and we can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done.”

Volunteer John Littlewood, who led the project to help Glenn, said: “The weather didn’t make it easy for us, but we’re over the moon to have made such a difference for Glenn and Esme. Hopefully this will make things a lot easier for them and mean they can actually enjoy the garden they love, rather than it being a source of stress. It was a real privilege for all of us to be able to help them.”

The team of BoB volunteers were also helped by local well-wishers and businesses who donated materials, equipment and meals to keep them well fed. Local businesses included: Easy Lawn, Lee Brothers, Reconomy, Jewson, Cocos Cafe, the Wheatsheaf Pub, Peebles Tree Care, LH Services, Ledbury Plant Hire, FH&J Alviti Ltd, Strevens Countryside Services and Fresh Cut Garden Services.

For more information on how to become a member or how to apply for help from Band of Builders, visit the BoB website.

>> Read about more BoB projects in the news

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