On Saturday 12 March, a group of children who have cerebral palsy and their families visited Dyffryn Gardens to mark the launch of a new partnership between National Trust Cymru and Cerebral Palsy Cymru. Together, the two charities aim to work beyond their boundaries to benefit people and nature by creating new green spaces and increasing access to the outdoors.
To launch the partnership and to celebrate the Trust’s annual #BlossomWatch campaign, children from Cerebral Palsy Cymru planted two blossom trees and hundreds of snowdrops in the arboretum at Dyffryn Gardens near Cardiff.
Eleven-year-old, Mary Tuck from Cerebral Palsy Cymru said
“This is my first time to Dyffryn Gardens. I have been getting my hands dirty planting trees and snowdrops. It has been a really fun day. I want to come back again and we are going to see them blossom every year.”
Cerebral Palsy Cymru, which provides therapy and support for children who have cerebral palsy and their families, have recently moved to a new building in Cardiff where National Trust Cymru will be creating a new wellbeing garden for staff and families.
In what is now described as a ‘concrete jungle’, the Trust aims to create a green space where families and staff can easily access nature, improve wellbeing and get outdoors.
Rebecca Williams, Assistant Director, National Trust Cymru said
“The pandemic showed us the importance of having access to nature and the outdoors, from gardens and parks to green spaces in workplaces and within communities. The Covid-19 crisis also highlighted significant inequalities in access to nature within urban areas.
“Working with partners, we aim to increase access to green spaces in and around urban areas, so that more people are within easy reach of quiet places for reflection with wide open skies.”
“Through the blossom campaign we’re able to make this a reality and have already planted 16 blossom trees in local schools, health centres and urban areas across Wales. We’re looking forward to start creating a new green space at Cerebral Palsy Cymru’s centre later this autumn to bring nature and beauty to children, families and staff”.
Glenys Evans, Family Support Coordinator for Cerebral Palsy Cymru also attended the tree planting at Dyffryn Gardens and was delighted to be a part of the launch of this unique and special partnership.
Glenys Evans said
“We as a charity are absolutely thrilled to be working with the National Trust in this unique partnership throughout 2022. The blossom tree planting at Dyffryn Gardens with some of the families that have used our services, was the perfect way to celebrate the partnership and all of the children enjoyed participating in this unique experience. We’d also like to thank our long-time ambassador Lucy Own for putting us in touch with the National Trust team in the first instance. We look forward to seeing how this relationships blossoms during 2022 and once again thank all the National Trust team for their kind support.”
National Trust Cymru will also be providing free access passes to the 350 families Cerebral Palsy Cymru supports right across Wales which will help the conservation charity to review some of the accessibility challenges at places they care for.
These passes will give families the opportunity to discover their local Trust places, with the ask for families to feedback on accessibility challenges.
Rebecca Williams continues
“Visiting your favourite Trust places should be an enjoyable and inclusive experience for everyone and we are proud to be working with Cerebral Palsy Cymru to review some of the barriers at places we care for.”
“We strive to meet the different needs and expectations of our supporters and work hard to improve accessibility, however we recognise we have a long way to go, but we’re determined to be for everyone, for ever.”
National Trust Cymru and Cerebral Palsy Cymru are very grateful to TV presenter and author Lucy Owen who established the relationship between both Welsh charities. Lucy who’s a Cerebral Palsy Cymru Ambassador was drawn to the Trust’s #BlossomWatch campaign when writing her book ‘Flower Girl’ and the partnership blossomed from there.
Lucy’s a great advocate for both charities and played a key role in supporting families with the planting at Dyffryn Gardens.
Lucy Owen said
“It is pure magic for me to see these two brilliant charities working together and doing something so wonderful. We’ve learned during the pandemic how nature can help us all through difficult times and the importance of being outdoors.
I’m so pleased that National Trust Cymru sites are being made accessible for everyone, and I can’t wait to see the blossom trees bloom in the new Cerebral Palsy Cymru centre wellbeing garden. I feel very proud that something so special has grown from small seeds planted in ‘Flower Girl”.