A FAMILY coming to terms with a terminal cancer diagnosis have been overwhelmed by the support of their local community after receiving a full garden make-over.

Simon Horner, from Scotton, who has just turned 42, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in January.

His wife Terri said the couple and their children Layla, nine, and Henry, five, have been blown away by the support of friends and family – and now Richmondshire Rugby Club members who have transformed their garden.

Mrs Horner said: "We have been wanting to change the garden for a while – it had a lot of large trees and shrubs and was an awkward shape for the children to play and use the space.

"A friend of ours, Gareth Hastie, is a garden designer and subtly asked what I was hoping to do then said to leave it with him.

"He then created a message group and asked members of Richmondshire Rugby Club – of which our son Henry is a member – to come and help. A group of about 20 people gave up their Saturday to come and do the work, even though many of them don't personally know us."

Among the volunteers was a tree surgeon who was able to remove large trees and shrubs, and two gardening firms who gave their time for free.

Mrs Horner said: "We were all sent out for the day and we couldn't believe the difference when we got back. Gareth said the look on Henry's face made it all worthwhile. I said I couldn't believe it was our garden!

"The support from the community is so heart-warming. Henry is only five and plays for the Micros team with the rugby club, but the fact that so many members wanted to give their time is amazing. Time is the best thing anyone can give, and especially at the moment, everyone's time is so precious. We really can't thank them all enough."

Earlier this year, friends of the Horner family raised more than £16,500 for Pancreatic Cancer UK by jogging at least 28 miles throughout February.

They were also supported by local businesses, including Angus Morton Butchers in Richmond, who donated more than £800, as well as a turkey for a special Easter dinner. Neeps and Tatties also gifted a vegetable box for their meal.

Mrs Horner said: "The garden was finished before Simon's birthday. It was already a very emotive day, so to have the garden looking great made it lovely. This is an incredibly difficult time for us, but for the children to see all the love and support coming to us from the community has been amazing."

Firms which supported the garden works are: GCH Garden Maintenance; P-M’s Tree Care; NJH Garden Services; and Hungry Eyes Catering Company.