‘Magical’ sensory garden for Letchworth schoolgirl with autism officially opens

Altius chief executive Bob Fidock, India Noble in her new garden and Altius marketing director Wendy

Altius chief executive Bob Fidock, India Noble in her new garden and Altius marketing director Wendy Gooda. Credit: ppf digital photography. - Credit: Archant

An eight-year-old Letchworth girl with autism has a ‘magical’ sensory garden after a community came together to grant her wish.

The idea behind Wilbury Community Forum’s project ‘a child’s dream’ was to help India Noble cope with her September move from Icknield Infant and Nursery School to Stonehill School in Letchworth, by creating a haven full of different sights, sounds and smells.

The garden was officially opened last week, but only after 32 community groups and more than 50 people aged between seven and 70 toiled for three months to make it happen.

When the team was flagging in October, a connection made between Letchworth Howard Rotary Club and property and business services company, Altius Group, saved the day.

The Letchworth-based business covered the remaining £1,000 and also provided property management skills to ensure the whole garden was fenced and provided with lighting by taking on the work themselves.


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Upon seeing the completed garden – the seeds of which grew from 15-year-old neighbour Immy Blackburn-Horgan’s idea – India said: “This is magical.”

Wilbury Community Forum chairman Sue Lines said: “I am truly inspired by the skills, expertise and support the forum is receiving from Altius Group for the sensory garden.

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“It is a great start to a long term future partnership.”

The project is a pilot scheme for the forum, with future plans to build a community garden for all in the Wilbury area.

The scheme is particularly close to Altius Group chief executive Bob Fidock’s heart as he lives in the Wilbury ward where his children attend the Wilbury School.

Mr Fidock is committed to giving back to the area with the group’s partnership with Wilbury Community Forum.

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