A specially-designed sensory garden has been unveiled at Thornfield Grange, a specialist residential service with nursing in Bishop Auckland that supports men with an autism spectrum condition.
The garden, which was created by staff and volunteers, was officially opened by Patrick*, one of the nine people who are supported there.
Featuring a range of raised beds containing plants, flowers, herbs and spices, the garden was designed to engage the senses of sight, smell and touch. There are also games, including a giant Kerplunk, trampoline, swings, benches and colourful steps.
The garden was made possible through fundraising by the Thornfield Grange team and the people they support.
Service Manager Tracy Fee said, “Previously, the garden was just grass but we wanted to create something that would not only look great, but also play an important part in the daily life of the people we support.
“We have created an area where everyone can be stimulated, relax or just engage their senses.”
The garden was designed by Support Worker Stacey Meayers and built by fellow Support Workers Gordon Wright and Trevor Abbott, with other members of staff and volunteers also pitching in.
Tracy added, “It was a real team effort and we couldn’t be happier with what we have achieved.”
After the official unveiling, people supported at the service, their families and staff enjoyed a tea party. There was also a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses, including Costa Coffee, B&Q, Starbucks, Morrisons and the Gala Theatre.
Tracy said, “We always receive fantastic support from the local community and we would like to thank everyone who supported us, especially Ravensworth Nurseries in Richmond for helping with the design of the garden and providing the plants.”
*Name changed for confidentiality