Meningitis Now has a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show this year, called The Futures Garden, marking the charity’s 30th Anniversary.
Myself, and a few other Young Ambassadors, were picked to have statues of us made, to help show the journey and transitions through meningitis.
We all met up in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, unsure what to expect. I had it in my mind we’d be stood in a big dark box and have a solid red beam glide over us one by one, you know, like in the movies?
It was nothing like that at all.
Our technician had a hand held device that bounced our surface back into it, slowly forming an image on screen so we could see the 3D versions of ourselves. These images will eventually be carved out of Canadian cedar for the garden.
Sadly they can’t make me look like Atlas, but I’ve come to terms with that.
The poses had to be held for around five to ten minutes and were far from comfortable (especially as amputees), but it was paramount that we remained perfectly still so that our image and posture would be full and accurate.
It was pretty amazing to watch the scan being done on someone else as well. Witnessing it from a different perspective makes you realise how much technology is being used for the first hurdle towards the garden.
I feel strongly that I must credit John Everiss, the garden designer and the brains behind it all. All I had to do was stand there while he was getting us into suitable positions that fitted with the layout of the garden and were practical for the carving of the cedar.
The garden and the sculptures portray perfectly the journey through meningitis, showing that, like many traumas in life, you don’t get over them but you get through them and eventually you will find peace.
I’m eager to see the final result, to see all the hard work and diligent thought that’s been put in by so many to create something truly spectacular.
Inside I’m beaming with pride. It’s truly humbling to be a part of the garden and I hope the people that do see it feel the same sense of serenity that John has portrayed so far.