In Jonny’s memory: volunteers transform bereaved mum’s garden after death of soldier son (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Volunteers from Forces Support makeover mum’s garden four years after Rifleman Jonny Allot is killed in action
MEMORIAL: Richard Howard and, right, Andrew Morton who created a new garden for Andrea Allott in memory of her son Jonny
A TEAM of volunteers have transformed a Kinson mum’s garden four years after her soldier son was killed in action.
Rifleman Jonny Allot was just 19 when he was the victim of an improvised explosive device (IED) while on patrol near Sangin in Helmand Province.
Since his death, the garden at mum Andrea’s home became overgrown as she struggled to cope.
But with help from Forces Support, the only charity dedicated to providing general maintenance support for bereaved military families, the garden has been completely revamped.
Andrea said: “What they’ve done for me is amazing.
“They’ve just been fantastic. I don’t have the words to praise them enough.
“I haven’t been coping well at all, and the gardening just didn’t happen.
“But to see it like this is wonderful.”
Currently, anyone who needs help from Forces Support faces a seven-month wait because of a lack of funding.
“They need donations to be able to do this sort of work for families of the fallen,” said Andrea.
“It just means the world. They need support.”
As well as tackling the weeds and grass in the overrun garden, volunteers from the charity constructed a secluded paved area where Andrea can go to think about Jonny.
They received donations from local branches of national businesses, including Travis Perkins and B&Q, as well as Kinson stores including Poppies Florist.
Charity founder Bill McCance said: “We’ve got 51 families in need of support and a seven-month waiting list.
“These are the families of young people who have made the ultimate sacrifice. We want to help more people like Andrea, and we are desperately in need of help to make that happen.”
For more information about Forces Support, or to make a donation, visit forcessupport.org.uk
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