Backyard Makeover


Story Details

We've seen a lot of generosity on Today Tonight

South Australians who reach out stop at nothing to selflessly put a smile on the faces of those in need.

But a group of Adelaideans have really got behind one family who sadly know heartbreak all too well.

This is no ordinary backyard makeover however, this generous gesture stems from the most tragic of circumstances.

In August 2005 devoted husband Alan Wilson was senselessly killed within minutes of his home.

His car was hit at high speed by 22 year old un-licenced road rage driver Michael James Hart.

Having just side swiped another car hart doused his lights and slammed into Alan's car at
111km/h in a 60km/h zone.

His devastated wife Cheryl says "he destroyed us�.. he took my husbands life away and therefore he took part of us away as well."

Hart suffered brain damage in the crash and never served jail time even so nothing could repair the damage he'd done to Cheryl Wilson their 3 children Brad, Zac and Sydney or Alan's two older sons.

Life for Cheryl and the kids would never be the same.

Alan Wilson has been described as your typical Aussie good bloke and a devoted dad.

"He loved being there for everybody," says Cheryl� he was a family man, he always helped people and he was my best friend."

And her best friend had a plan he was no longer around to complete.

Darren Gepp from Hire a Hubby decided to fulfil Alans dream of a back and front yard makeover so he called upon friends and even strangers to come to the one day working bee.

"I think at the end of the day she's going to get what Alan had intended," says Darren.

What would have taken Alan more than a year to complete was attempted in just 8 hours.

Working alongside the hire a hubby's were Jims mowing guys and gals, friends and family and Sgt. Jamie Lewcock from the Major Crash Investigation Unit.

"This is helping out a friend in need," says Jamie, "it's also a legacy for Alan as well. We can bring his dream to fruition,"

While it was suggested the work on the backyard be postponed Cheryl was insistent the gift her family was being offered go ahead as planned.

With the mission almost accomplished all that needed to be done was the laying of the lawn which was done in super quick time by the team from Jims Mowing.

A tearful Cheryl said it was incredible, "you know I had this picture in my head for years but it's just over the top compared to what I thought, it's beautiful... this was Alan's plan and now it's done it's beyond belief."

There were gifts of backyard furniture, a barbie and plenty of potted plants to complete this magnificent makeover but it doesn't end there for Darren Gepp.

"Cheryl's two young boys are still living in the same bedroom," says Darren "the 10 and 12 years olds are driving each other nuts."

So Darren is going to add 3 rooms to the house "one a bedroom, family room for the kids to play in and a little retreat for Cheryl, that's the plan."

So Darren is calling out to Adelaide's tradies.

"If there's anybody that can just come along, give us their time, we need materials donated as well so we can get stage two completed."

Meanwhile Cheryl and the kids have a backyard straight out of Better Homes and Gardens.

"I do see there is a future now," says Cheryl. "I know I've always had a future with the children but I can really see it now and I can accept it, whereas for a long time there I couldn't."

To all those who worked so hard to bring some sunshine into the Wilson's lives �.. congratulations.

Cement courtesy, Stratco St Agnes

Roundup weed killer - Home Hardware Munno Para

Paint for sheds and fences - Solver Paints St Marys
Paint for front fence - Mitre 10 Elizabeth West
Plumbing materials (drainage) Reece, Salisbury

Plumbing (irrigation and ip cover) Reece, St Agnes
Rotary clothes line - Hills Industries

Fold out clothes line - Donna Cranwell

Concrete - Cemex

Plastic, mesh and chairs for concrete - Bianco construction supplies

Clay pavers and retaining wall blocks - Austral bricks

Instant lawn - Garden Grove

Paving quarry rubble, paving sand, paving gap sand and steel pins for sleepers -
Northern Building supplies
Landscaping plants front and back yards - Fairview Plant Wholesalers
Mulch & bunting - Playford City Council
Flood lighting - Redline Electrical
Bobcat & tipper (yard/concrete) - Mark Kruechel
Industrial paint sprayer - Kennards Salisbury

Waste bins - Local Bins Golden Grove
Car trailer - Move Yourself Trailers, Cavan
Caravan removal - Tilt Truck Towing
Concrete pumping and laying and concrete saw - Geoff Cook

Tyson Stowers - Entice Paving
Bobcat & tipper (lawn/garden) - Jemmak Earthmoving

Portable chemical toilet, paving vibrating plate and brick cutting saw - Coates Hire Salisbury
Work gloves - Look Buy and Save, Golden Grove

Boiling water urn � TS Adelaide Navy Cadets
Kids bedroom carpet � Solomons, Munno Para

Glazed pots - Cheap glazed & terracotta pots
Pot plants and potting soil - Heyne's Nursery

Gas bbq and 6 seat outdoor setting - Harvey Norman, Munno Para

Hedge trimmer, garden tool set and polished rocks - Mitre 10 Mansfield Park
Food,soft drinks and wine - North East Meat Market

Barnacle Bills, Golden Grove
Domino's Golden Grove

Sip'n Save, Underdale

Fosters Australia winemaking

Parafield Airport Liquor Store
SA Police Major Crash social club
Drinking water filter - Filterworks
Family meal voucher - Lord Melbourne Hotel

$100 voucher - Jims Mowing SA
1 year free dental - City Central Dental

And a big thankyou to all those who helped out on the day�.

Cheryl and her kids
Cheryl's family and friends
Sgt. Jamie Lewcock - SA Major Crash investigation unit
Hire a Hubby, Golden Grove
Jims Mowing, Surrey Downs
Hire a Hubby SA franchise (8295 5000)
Jims mowing franchise (131546)