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Play area joy for battling brothers
TWO brothers who suffer from a painful genetic skin condition now have a lovely back garden to play in, thanks to customers of the Cockleshell pub in Poole.
Harry and Cody Churchill, three and one, both have epidermolysis bullosa, or EB, which means their fragile skin blisters at the slightest bump.
A series of events at the pub in Lagland Street raised £1,500 to create an outdoor play area for the boys at their home in Parkstone – and the work was carried out by fundraising organiser Rebecca Way and nine regulars.
In just 11 hours, the group installed some new turf, a ball pit, swing, slide, trampoline and ramped decking so Harry can access it in his wheelchair.
Becky, who runs the Cockleshell with her mum said: “I’ve never worked so hard in my life I think I shocked everyone – they just think I’m a barmaid.
“It looks amazing, considering what it was like. Beforehand, there were big tree stumps in the middle. There wasn’t actually a garden, just a bit of grass. Kids with EB shouldn’t be stuck indoors all the time.
“It was very emotional to get it together in a day. The family loved it. Harry is still a bit shocked with it all and Cody loves sitting in the ball pit. It’s all safe, we’ve used rubber bark.”
The pub started by raising money towards Harry’s wheelchair.
It then donated more than £1,700 to the EB charity Debra, but Becky, who has become a friend of the family, wanted to do more for the boys.
“They will always be a massive part of my life. They are great, happy boys, but when Harry laughs I feel awful because I don’t know whether it’s hurting his face.”
Becky added: “It’s amazing what we’ve achieved for a little back street pub. I don’t think people realise that customers in there have hearts of gold.
“If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have been able to help the Churchill family.”