The Garden of Evan Charity
Donate to Cultivate and Stimulate
The Garden of Evan Charity is formed in memory of my son, Evan Louis Schwarz, to raise funds to buy sensory equipment for children with additional support needs.
Evan suffered a massive seizure when he was almost six months old. We were living in New York at the time. Whatever the underlying reasons (and they have never been fully explained or established) the effect was devastating. Evan spent a month in intensive care on a ventilator and deeply comatose. He spent the next ten months in a rehabilitation hospital. Eventually I was able to bring him back to Scotland (where I’m from) and to the Royal Children’s Hospital for Sick Kids, which at the time (2012) was in Yorkhill. He spent a further nine months in hospital before I was allowed to bring him home properly.
Evan received wonderful medical care at Yorkhill, but the most significant impact as far as I could see was the contribution from Sense Scotland, a Scottish Charity which helps bring out the best in individuals with additional support needs using sensory therapies. Evan’s days were filled with music lessons, art classes, and trips to Sense’s sensory room at its Touchbase centre in Kinning Park in Glasgow.
Sadly, Evan passed away in February 2014 at the age of two and a half.
That was seven years ago. I have always had it in mind to set up a charity in Evan’s name, but for many years, although my love for Evan has never faded, the pain of losing him always seemed to stop me being able to celebrate his life in any public way.
There was something about Evan’s seventh anniversary that made me feel stronger though. To be honest, I woke up that morning feeling unusually angry. But in a strange way it felt that my overwhelming sadness had somehow stepped aside to allow me to experience an emotion that I could put to good use instead.
I wanted to do something in Evan’s memory. In hardly any time at all, we had come up for the idea of The Garden of Evan Charity, and had penned a beautiful poem as the basis for a children’s book by the same name.
I got in touch with Evan’s main therapist at Sense, Susanne MacLean and she agreed to sit on the charity’s Board as a trustee. My oldest friend, Emma McGill, now a Primary School Headteacher, agreed to join the Board as a trustee and is also its Chair. Both Susanne and Emma bring a wealth of knowledge that is invaluable to the Charity’s smooth running and pursuit of its stated mission: to provide sensory equipment to children with additional support needs.
We look forward to growing Evan’s legacy by helping others, just like him, to get the most out of their sensory experiences.
Thank you for all of your support