Sense Scotland has been awarded £19,990 from Postcode Local Trust, funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, to establish a sensory garden at TouchBase Lanarkshire, a newly refurbished resource in Hamilton which opened in April 2016.
Postcode Local Trust funding offers a wonderful opportunity to transform the currently unloved and unused space surrounding the building into an accessible, green and nurtured habitat, giving the disabled people we support the chance to engage with the natural environment, learn new skills, socialise, work together and encourage a healthy lifestyle.
Work to create the garden will begin this summer. The garden will be a sustainable space with wheelchair accessible paths, raised beds for growing herbs, fruits, vegetables and flowers, an area for sociable activities as well as a quiet area for relaxation and reflection. There will be scented planting, wind chimes and a pebbled water feature to provide a range of sensory experiences. Julie Spence of Hamilton based DWA Landscape Architects donated her time and expertise to design the garden free of charge.
Andy Kerr, Sense Scotland’s CEO said “The sensory garden will be a wonderful addition to TouchBase Lanarkshire. We are immensely grateful to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery and Postcode Local Trust for their support of the sensory garden, and to garden designer Julie Spence of DWA Landscape Architects.”
This is the second time TouchBase Lanarkshire has benefited from support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, which last year made an award of £16,299 to equip the new art and music rooms.
TouchBase Lanarkshire was formally opened by HRH The Princess Royal in October 2016 and boasts state of the art facilities for people with communication support needs. Included in the centre, which has doubled in size after an £850,000 refurbishment, is a sensory room with the latest technology, a fully equipped music room and a dedicated art room incorporating spin art facilities. A new extension built onto the centre provides ample space for physio and physical activity sessions and includes a sunken trampoline which is used for rebound therapy. The centre is fully equipped with high quality personal care suites with ceiling mounted tracking hoists in all key areas.
A second building provides a large events space which can be used for drama performances and story-telling sessions. The events space will also be a popular location for seminars, meetings and local workshops. The second building is also home to a bespoke accessible kitchen which will offer people supported by Sense Scotland the opportunity to develop their cooking skills and gain qualifications through Sense Scotland’s ASDAN programme.