THREE women from Halton who met whilst recovering from cancer are embarking on an imaginative community project.

Friendship blossomed between Angela Hayler, Sue Hulme and Amanda Prescott as they relaxed at yoga.

Re-building their own lives, they came up with a novel idea to re-energise people of all ages.

The Wonky Garden has already encouraged volunteers to learn new skills, make friends and experiment with quirky ideas.

Angela, from Widnes, said: “As soon as we mention the name Wonky Garden, people smile.

“It’s about bringing lots of different people in the community together to have fun activities.”

The trio have pooled their business expertise to establish a network of contacts and has received donations of materials.

Four plots of land have been made available for development at Ditton Community Centre in Widnes, Grangeway Community Centre in Runcorn and Halton Hornets Rugby Club in Farnworth and Moorfield Primary School in Widnes.

“It’s about much much more than gardening,” said Angela.

“Our role is simply to encourage the community to tell us what they want to see and do in their gardens and join in the fun to make it a reality.

“It’s not about humping and lumping stuff around, it’s about enjoying being in that space.

“We all come from strong, loving families with lots of friends.

“When something like cancer hits you need support.”

It is hoped the gardens will become places to combat loneliness, improve mental health and wellbeing, support special needs and provide a place of calm.

Being diagnosed with cancer, Angela says, is a surreal experience.

“Your life is taken out of your hands. It’s like getting on a train though you don’t know where you are going.

“You dust yourself at the other end and can go back to where you were or re-evaluate.

“I wanted to do something for the community.

“I feel more alive now than I have done for years.

“I have always found my garden a very healing sanctuary.

“I find it so uplifting. Doing what I love has helped me so much. If it has helped me it will help other people.”

Students from schools and colleges, residents and people with special needs have suggested unique ways to transform various sites.

Plans are now underway to develop an allotment and flower and sensory garden at Ditton and run fun design workshops.

Anyone wishing to get involved or find out more details can visit