Support Rachael - childhood abduction survivor

Rachael’s healing garden

Rachael Watts’s enormous courage as a child imprisoned a paedophile
killer - but now she needs help with her recovery.

Rachael, at age seven, miraculously survived being abducted, raped and strangled by ‘Babes in the Woods’ killer Russell Bishop in 1990.

Now 40, she suffers from Agoraphobia – a profound terror of the outdoors – but dreams of creating a green garden from her concrete yard, so she can still feel the sun on her face, and heal through beautiful plants and flowers.

Rachael coped bravely for many years but has been too ill to work since Russell Bishop was retried in 2018 and convicted of murdering two other little Brighton girls. His trial brought back the horror of what he did to her and provoked a complete breakdown.

She became a compulsive eater, which led to immense weight gain, diabetes, bone problems and bariatic surgery. Eventually she was diagnosed with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, acute anxiety and agonising Fibromyalgia - joint and muscle pain, sometimes linked to stress. Yet incredibly, because she did not until now feel able to tell anyone why she was so troubled, she was turned down for sickness benefits.

Her husband works full time, has caring responsibilities, and, with four young children, and her weight and bone issues, there was neither the energy, time or funds to transform their yard. Yet her indoor and potted plants and hanging baskets show she already loves nature and has green fingers.

The therapeutic power of gardening is well known and, given she still cannot venture far from her home, this fund will help Rachael finally realise her dream – and overcome her Vitamin D deficiency, from lack of sun.

A major cost will be a garden room, to provide shelter and privacy. Her anxiety means she needs a toilet nearby, so plumbing will be needed. Good fences will be important and she’d also love a mini gym, to help her rebuild her shattered physical health, and provide fun for the children whom she cannot currently take to the park.

She hopes to grow berries, vegetables and flowers, plant fruit trees and enjoy outdoor barbecues. A water feature will be soothing for her, and scented calming bushes like Lavender.

My daughter was at primary school with Rachael, and I have never forgotten her courage and stoicism.

I took these photos of how her garden looked this summer, after she started trying to clear and plant it but did not have the strength to finish. She did not even have a garden table and chairs.

Rachael for years hid her traumatic past from almost everyone, and never asked anyone for help. She has recently been offered help with benefits and therapy. But the family’s income remains very small, so any help for her healing garden dream will be hugely appreciated.

All donations will be sent directly to Rachael by GoFundMe.
Thank you,
Eileen Fairweather

Rachael's interview on December 10 in the Daily Mail:

Rachael's interview on BBC Woman's Hour:

Fundraising team (3)

Eileen Fairweather 
Raised £3,086 from 131 donations
Rachael Watts 
Paul Cheston 
Team member
Raised £75 from 2 donations

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