Jimmy and Gaynor Le Comte

"Something as simple as tar-sealing paths would make it a whole lot easier for people in wheelchairs to get around."

For all but six years of her life, Gaynor has lived in the same house in Phillipstown - she and Jimmy ended up buying the property from her parents.

They have an award-winning garden out the front, and Christchurch's status as a garden city is important to them both. 

"I love this city," says Gaynor. "But our reputation as the Garden City has been slipping ever since the earthquakes. People just dumping stuff out on the streets isn't helping."

They are fiercely proud of their local community, and have watched it grow and develop over the time they've been there. "People sometimes have bad things to say about this area, but we really like it. We've got good friends here. Our church is here," says Jimmy.

"I just wish some people would take more care of their property. It doesn't take much to keep your place looking good. And if you've got a nice garden you should be showing it off, not hiding it behind a six foot fence."

An accident has recently confined Gaynor to a wheelchair. From finding a park near the hospital to heavy glass doors on new buildings, things have become more challenging for the couple when they want to get out and about.

Gravel paths are a particular problem. "Pushing a wheelchair along a gravel path is hard work," says Jimmy. "Something as simple as tar-sealing paths would make it a whole lot easier for people in wheelchairs to get around."

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