AN APPEAL has been launched for volunteers to help turn a barren backyard into a secret garden for a sick little boy to play in.

Jon Tarrant-Heckford has Sanfilippo syndrome, which prevents the body removing waste and chemicals from the brain and nervous system. The condition means he may not live beyond ten years old.

His mum, Lorraine, relocated her antiques shop from its prominent Market Place position to a converted stable in Strides Lane, where she now opens three days a week to spend more time with Jon.

But now Jon is growing and becoming more adventurous, she would like to turn the neglected backyard at the back of the shop into a sensory garden to stimulate Jon and get him outside in the fresh air.

Mrs Tarrant-Heckford said: “We are so lucky to have this little plot behind the shop, but it has been a dumping ground for years and is covered in broken glass. It needs to have new fencing and to be made safe for Jon.

“If we could turn the yard into a garden it would be wonderful for Jon, who needs to keep moving and mobile to keep his muscles working. Getting him out in the wonderful fresh air is so good for him. He loves smelling the pretty flowers and loves water play.”

Norman Scates set up Wishes 4 Jon, to raise money to give Jon and his family some magical memories during their time together.

He said: “We need some volunteers to lend some man hours to help transform the yard and some advice as how best to use the space and turn it into a garden for a child.”

The family have just returned from a trip of a lifetime to Disneyland Paris after a summer ball, held last month, raised £2,500.

Mrs Tarrant-Heckford said: “Everyone has been so generous. We had the most wonderful time. I was in tears for much of it because Jon really was having the time of his life. I can’t thank everyone enough.”

Anyone who can help transform the yard can call Mr Scates on 07850 899662.