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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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New sensory garden at Carlisle sheltered housing scheme

Residents living in sheltered housing in Carlisle now have an outdoor space they can enjoy.

Sensory garden photo
Janet Cochrane, daughter Patricia Riddell and grandson Danny

A £35,000 sensory garden has been officially opened by Deputy Mayor of Carlisle Steve Layden at Burnside Court in Stanwix.

The accommodation offers older people the chance to live independently but with care available for those who need it.

The new facility has been specifically designed to aid with sensory development, in line with the latest dementia research, and it is hoped it will help benefit some of Burnside Court’s residents.

Staff say they are “delighted” with the project and have had positive feedback from tenants who contributed ideas to the design of the garden.

Scheme manager Carla Batey has overseen the project.

She said: “We are confident that everyone who lives here will enjoy using the space for many years to come.” It will be used by tenants, their friends and families and day care and social visitors.

Funding from the Department of Health was secured by Cumbria County Council and Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust after a successful bid was submitted last summer, and it has taken a year since then to complete the garden.

Derek Glover,70, has lived at Burnside Court for more than 14 years.

He is pleased with the garden and said that, weather permitting, is out in it most days.

“It’s well laid out and since they’ve re-turfed the lawn it’s lovely,” he said. “The water feature is a brilliant piece of architecture. It’s a lovely place to be.”

Jeanie Loughrey, 79, moved to Burnside Court in January. She said: “I think it’s a great asset. When I was in hospital I missed the outside space. Even though it was 12 years ago, it’s a feeling I’ve never forgotten.

“It’s nice that you can go right around the garden – it makes it more interesting.”

The garden, which has been integrated around an existing conservatory, includes new paths, plants, bird boxes and feeders.

It features a water fountain and seating areas, as well as a raised allotment and herb garden. Eventually it will have a pergola with more seating.

Fraser Dooley runs a social club at Burnside Court every Monday.

He said: “We’ve used the garden loads this summer. It has already enhanced their lives.

“People have been bringing down their crumbs for the birds in the mornings and have been enjoying the garden in all sorts of ways.”

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