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Annabelle Urch

In Summer 2009, Hope 4 Kidz gave Sunderland youngster Annabelle Urch a safe place to play, by making over the family’s dangerous and
run-down garden.

7 year old Annabelle suffers from a rare genetic disorder known as chromosome number two deletion, which means she is missing that particular chromosome from within her DNA.

As a direct result of the condition, Annabelle suffers from a wide variety of different illnesses including epilepsy, low muscle tone and a heart murmur, for which she sees 13 specialist consultants, including a paediatrician and physiotherapist.

In 2008 Annabelle’s parents moved from their long-term home in East Herrington to a bungalow in Seaburn, where Annabelle could enjoy more freedom to walk around.  Unfortunately the bungalow was extremely run-down, which was why the family were able to afford it in the first place and the garden of the property was completely unusable – as you can see on the pictures below. 

Hope 4 Kidz made Annabelle the main beneficiary of the 70s Funky Friday event in April 09 and raised enough funds to give the family garden a complete makeover.

The centrepiece of the new garden is a two-storey playhouse with a door and window that can be removed and replaced with larger door as Annabelle gets older and grows in height. 

The playhouse, which can comfortably accommodate Annabelle and up to three of her friends, was erected free of charge by MGT Landscaping of Pallion and sits on top of concrete paving stones which were also supplied for free by the firm.

The rest of the garden has been turfed so that Annabelle can run around in safety and not risk hurting herself too badly if she falls over.  The turf was purchased by Hope 4 Kidz on a discounted rate from Thompsons Building Centres and was laid by volunteers from Sunderland-based environmental charity CEED - Community Environmental Education Developments.

For more about Chromosome Deletion and Annabelle’s story check out our links pages.