Peoplepower, friendship and celebrity support could be the magic factor that sees young widow Helen Daykin’s boggy garden transformed into a playground paradise for her daughters.
Helen, 42, from Halifax, is top of the leader board with a whopping 6,305 votes on the MyBuilder website, which is running a competition for a garden makeover.
Helen and husband Chris planned to transform the garden of their home in Fountain Head Village - but Chris tragically died in his sleep from heart failure last year aged just 47.
Chris was a stay-at-home dad, caring full time for the couple’s daughters, Pearl and Iris, while Helen’s job in education technology took her around the world.
Helen has now quit her job to look after Pearl and Iris and is hoping to win the competition, which will create a dream garden for them.
She said: “I worked all over the world. That now cannot happen. I can’t leave two little children for weeks on end at the drop of a hat.”
She says she has made little mention of the garden competition to Pearl and Iris. “I don’t want to promise something and not deliver. I am pretty stunned by the response. I thought I might get 500 votes but it’s gone a lot further.
“I have been offered random stuff from complete strangers. Someone offered free child places. A retired gentleman has offered a buy the girls a swing. It’s been really touching. If this doesn’t restore faith in humanity I don’t know what will.”
After being nominated by pal Jodie Lopez, Helen soared past the initial high scorer and rapidly picked up 4,000 votes. She’s also been backed by an array of famous faces including Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain, Paralympian Hannah Cockroft, comedian John Bishop and ‘80s pop icon Boy George.
Jodie says Helen has been “a rock” to her daughters and has improved the house with lots of interior work. “But the garden is drawing a blank. It is a very uninspiring space and she is not the green-fingered sort! To get the garden sorted out will be cathartic. The community has bonded around her. She knows how much people support her situation.”
Now, with just days to go, Helen is keeping her fingers crossed. Judges will pick the eventual winner from the 12 with the most votes. There are more than 400 entries.
Voting remains open for the next four days. MyBuilder accepts only one vote per person. https:// www.mybuilder.com/competitions/garden-makeover-2017/entries/4456