A NURSE who works in the A&E department of Aintree Hospital was delighted when she and her family were gifted a free garden upgrade in Gardens For Guardians.
The nationwide campaign was set up by land management company Greenbelt to say thank you to NHS employees who’ve been helping the UK stay safe throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
The upgrade was given to Crystal Stephen, 29, and her partner Carl, a civil engineer and CCTV operator working for United Utilities, carrying out urgent work to keep waterways safe 24 hours a day. They have a two-year-old old daughter Sienna and live in Greenbelt’s Stirling Chase development.
Crystal, who is from Bootle, said: “A few years ago we were lucky enough to buy our first home.
“We were just getting used to living in our house, slowly room by room making it our home then the pandemic hit! Our lives became a whirlwind, with both of us working shifts and Sienna attending nursery. It’s been a strain at times and often it felt like we were ships passing in the night!
“Unfortunately, getting around to improving our garden had to take a back seat – to be fair, we wouldn’t have had the time to enjoy it during such a hectic period of our lives.”
Crystal says the family is finally getting to spend time together again . . . and the garden makeover is making a huge difference.
She added: “We felt so overwhelmed to be chosen to have our garden upgraded. We’re so proud of all the hard work that’s been put in to make this happen, especially due to the hard times we’re still facing at the moment with Covid-19.”
Greenbelt managing director Colin Thomson said: “It’s been an incredibly challenging year for everyone but especially so for key frontline workers such as Crystal. Through Gardens For Guardians, we want to applaud their courage, determination and, with Covid-19 still affecting us, their unstinting endurance.
“We’re especially delighted we’ve been able to give Crystal, Carl and Sienna a space where they can relax together and enjoy all of the benefits that being outdoors brings.”
Crystal added: “For us, as a family, to have a nice place to relax and unwind is unreal. The thought of having space for Sienna to play safely, somewhere we could sit at the end of the day without having to plan or do ourselves, somewhere we could instantly make the most of the rest of this year and enjoy in the future . . . that is a dream come true.
“My little girl is over the moon, she can always play outdoors with no mud in sight!”