Wanted: volunteers to give Malcolm space to play

Malcolm Maughan from Irvinestown gkfh44

Malcolm Maughan from Irvinestown

THE national charity for sick children, WellChild, has launched a campaign to help the Irvinestown boy, who has complex health problems.

Eight-year-old Malcolm Maughan has Down’s Syndrome and severe learning difficulties which make it difficult for him to comprehend the world around him – and to find a safe place to play.


Wellchild hope to transform Malcolm’s garden into a safe haven for him – and needs a team of volunteers to make this happen.

The WellChild ‘Helping Hands’ scheme enlists the support of volunteers from companies and organisations around the UK to tackle individual home development projects to provide more therapeutic environments for children and young people with complex health needs. The healthcare needs of these children often require intensive support from their families, leaving little time or energy to undertake necessary home and garden improvements.

Malcolm’s parents have tried to make his garden safe but as he grows and his condition develops, these alterations no longer meet his needs.

His mother, Michelle, explained: “It would mean he could play with no danger. He needs a lot of stimulation – he’d be a house bird at the moment because of the weather and because there is nothing to stimulate him, but this would make a big difference.”

WellChild is asking local companies and organisations to get in touch if they can support this project by offering volunteers (a team of 10 to 12 people) to undertake the two days of practical work needed to complete this project.

The charity plans to section off a large part of the garden to create a secure play area, including a place for Malcolm’s trampoline, and construct a decked area and lay artificial turf so Malcolm and his two brothers and two sisters can play outside all year round. They will also decorate the garden with stimulating colourful murals to help with Malcolm’s development.

If your organisation could help with this or a future project then please contact our Helping Hands team on 0845 458 8171 or email


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