A COMMUNITY has come together to help a mother with muscular sclerosis (MS) regain access to her garden.

Emma Hughes, mother to three children, was diagnosed with MS in 2009 and is now using a wheelchair as a result.

Prior to her diagnosis, Emma was a keen gardener, but since she has been using a wheelchair, the 48-year-old was unable to access the garden she enjoyed working on.

However, her friends and family, along with the help of the Offa Community Support group, have raised £25,000 to build a bridge from her house to the garden.

The bridge was officially opened last Friday, with friends, family and community support group members celebrating the special occasion.

Emma has been overwhelmed by the support from everyone involved, and insists she can not wait to get to work on the garden again.

She said: “If we hadn’t been able to do this, we would’ve had to move house.

“I just really wanted to get back in the garden – it’s huge here and goes so far back behind the house. I’d have been devastated to have to abort this.

“Now I can get to the first part of the garden, it gives me access to a lot of it and I’ll be able access even more of it with someone helping to push me up there.

“It’s just brilliant – I can’t wait to get to work on it and set it up exactly how I want it to be; it’s a blank canvas now.

“I’ve always loved gardening and my dad did as well.

“I used to be a joiner, so I built the greenhouse in the garden and I did all the joinery work in the house too. I built the kitchen and the shed too.

“I’m looking forward to being able to get my hands dirty again.”

Money was raised through several fundraising events and generous donations, while the bridge itself was built during countless hours of voluntary work.

Chairman of the Offa Community Support group, John Davies, said the group is extremely happy to b able to help Emma.

“Over the past three years we’ve fundraised for many major projects, but this has been our main one,” he said.

“Since Emma was diagnosed with MS, she hasn’t been able to access her garden.

“There are some fantastic folk in Trefonen and a fantastic committee of people who have helped to make £25,000 in total.

“We’ve had great help from the Lions and Rotary Club, but primarily from those in the village.

“We’re so chuffed, Emma is such a character. This has cheered her up and given her access to her garden again which is great.”

Emma was keen to express her gratitude to all involved.

She added: “It’s untrue how good all of my friends and the committee have been in pushing to make this happen.

“It isn’t just the fundraising, it’s the voluntary work as well to actually build it after the money had been raised.

“The hours and effort people have put into it is just invaluable.

“We’ve had some great nights and a lot of fun in putting the project together.

“It’s amazing how kind people are, it’s just been absolutely overwhelming.

“I want to give my biggest, most heartfelt thanks to everyone that has put their time into helping with this – I love you all lots.”