Medway Youth Trust and Medway Sunlight Rotary work together to build a 9ft wide dinosaur figure for young person with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

A group of young people, together with staff at Medway Youth Trust have been busy over the last 6 months building an enormous dinosaur figure, affectionately called Doris, out of papier-mache to surprise a young person, Cam Edmonds who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a serious and rare genetic disorder that causes progressive muscle loss.

Cam, together with his family moved in to their bungalow in April 2011 with the aim of reconfiguring the bungalow to make their home fully accessible for Cam’s wheelchair, including the garden. Cam wasn’t able to access his back garden in his wheelchair and the uneven landscape made this tricky. Medway Sunlight Rotary introduced Medway Youth Trust to Cam and from then on, lots of young people from social action projects started to get involved with clearing the garden in May last year, to make space for the landscaping work to be done.

With the garden almost completed, the next stage was to build a dinosaur figure to live in the garden as Cam has a fascination with dinosaurs. Over the last 6 months, staff and young people from Medway Youth Trust have worked tirelessly to bring Doris the Dinosaur to life. Doris, who is now weatherproofed, will be placed on a fence outside Cam’s bedroom window.

Norma Rice, Partnership Broker at Medway Youth Trust said; “We first created Doris out of cardboard copied from a dinosaur figurine that we had in the office, but because she was so big we decided to make her into 3D, as her head had already been created and painted by Audrey Williams, MYT DofE Manager and a group of young people from the Medway programme (a Medway Youth Trust study programme).

Different groups of young people supported the project to get Doris ready for the stage of painting. She turned from dark brown to yellow to green and bits of black.  Before the final stage of varnish was applied, there were a few holes to fill and a plump tummy was needed to make her look full and happy. 

Two coats of varnish were applied and Doris is now dry and ready for the trip on a trailer to Cams Garden destination from Medway to Gravesend. An incredible dinosaur has been made from help from staff, families, the Princes Trust teams, Medway Programmes, DofE young people and those that access the service. How Amazing!”

Today, Wednesday 9th November 2016, Doris made her way from the MYT building in Chatham to Gravesend on the back of a trailer with some help from the young people who are currently on the Prince’s Trust study programme. The weather wasn’t at all kind, with freezing and damp conditions trying to put a halt to the operation but that didn’t dampen their spirits and made them more determined to get Doris to her new home in Cam’s garden.

Cam knew nothing at all about the giant dinosaur. He came home from college and was happily surprised to see Doris waiting for him.

Bill Parkinson from Medway Sunlight Rotary said; "We have worked for the last 18 months on raising money and making Cam's garden accessible and would like to thank all those amazing people including the young people from Medway Youth Trust who have helped along the way with time and resources - including Baylis Landscapes who designed the garden; the Artificial Lawn Company, FMConway, Countryside Properties, Gallaghers, members of Rotary and many others.

Together we have moved over three skips of soil, installed an accessible path, an artificial lawn, a pond and are now ready to plant shrubs to brighten it up in the spring.

The icing on the cake is the magnificent Dinosaur that the young people of Medway Youth Trust have made and the reaction of Cam when he came home from College and saw it standing by the pond! Working with Medway Youth Trust has clearly demonstrated that young people do want to help in their communities."

We hope Cam and his family can enjoy their garden and or course, Doris. This is what can happen when people work together to create something special. #WeLoveSocialAction.