Floods leave Kidz garden plans on hold

Kidderminster Shuttle: Starting again: The courtyard garden’s reading corner was making progress in September, 2012 but has now suffered a further setback. Starting again: The courtyard garden’s reading corner was making progress in September, 2012 but has now suffered a further setback.

FACILITIES used by children and young people with disabilities have been damaged after a Bewdley-based charity suffered its third round of floods in a year.

Staff at Kidz First, based at the Longbank Centre, say they had to buy new equipment and put projects – including a courtyard garden funded by The Shuttle – on hold after river levels rose again before Christmas.

A spokeswoman said inspectors discovered the facility’s drains were in “bad condition” so part of the new garden, which included a reading corner, had to be dug up during the festive period so maintenance work could be carried out.

“We have had to suspend the garden project,” she added. “We have really, really suffered. Offices have been damaged and we have had to have a lot of things replaced.

“The disruption with the garden is due to the fact our drains are blocked but we are going to go ahead with the project. We very much want to complete it but we do not know how long it will take to sort out.”

In December, 2011, Kidz First received £8,720 from the Gannett Foundation to create the outdoor facility, which will host gardening and other educational activities.

Gannett is the American owner of Newsquest Media Group, which publishes The Shuttle.

Setbacks during 2012, including snow and floods, meant it was not ready to open last spring as originally planned or in November, as subsequently predicted.

The area will feature a storytelling corner, winding pathways, seating, water features, statues, palm trees and doorways to a secret garden and mini-orchard.

For more information on Kidz First, call 01299 400655.

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