A day care centre in Dundee that helps people living with dementia is building a state-of-the-art sensory garden, thanks to a £2,500 award from Grow Wild.
The garden has been designed to ease stress, anxiety, and pain and improve the health and well-being of dementia sufferers and individuals living with physical and mental health issues.
The project is one of 13 community initiatives across Scotland that have been given between £1,000 and £4,000 by Grow Wild to encourage people to grow native plants and transform communal areas. Supported by the Big Lottery Fund and led by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, a total of £41,500 has been awarded to support community projects in Scotland this year.
Joyce McIntosh, chairperson at Mid-Lin Day Care Centre, said: "The funding means we have been able to create an access-friendly outdoor space that people of all capabilities can enjoy, including wheelchair users. Sensory activities in a bright outdoor space will help stimulate the minds of those who use the garden.
"Encouraging the local community to get involved with the service users is a huge part of the project and we’ve already had a great deal of interest from locals, some of whom no longer have their own gardens. They are eager to help maintain the garden and meet other local people."
The funding is paying for a vegetable patch to be created, which will grow carrots, onions and leeks. The home-grown vegetables will be incorporated into healthy meals created by the centre’s chef. The cash injection will also enable the Forget Me Not project leaders to create a potting shed and an easy access path, leading directly into the garden.
McIntosh added: "Our main issue was accessibility to the garden. We were adamant that we wanted to make sure wheelchair users could easily enter this wonderful outdoor space, and the new access path means our visitor numbers have increased. The fresh air and the presence of plants, flowers and wildlife is bound to have a healing effect on those who visit our centre, and that is our key aim."
Four local primary schools Rowantree, St Vincent, Longhaugh and Fintry as well as members of the local community are also being encouraged to visit the centre and assist in planting wild flowers and maintaining the garden and vegetable patch as part of the ongoing project that will continue throughout the year.