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Doncaster dementia garden launch

A multi-sensory garden designed and built specially for people with dementia and their carers has been officially opened in Doncaster.

The High Sheriff of South Yorkshire, John Holt, and the Deputy Mayor of Doncaster, Cllr David Nevett did the honours and launched the garden, which is based in The Walled Garden at St Catherine’s House, Woodfield Park, Balby, and is part of the social enterprise called Flourish.

The Community Dementia Garden has been created after a consortium of charities and organisations came together to push the idea and the project forward.

Staff at Flourish Enterprises, based at St Catherine’s House, Balby, offered a plot of land in their Walled Garden, professional garden designer Caroline Watkins drew up the plans and costed the project for free, donations of materials were received from the Doncaster dementia charity Donmentia, Flourish Enterprises, B&Q and the Alzheimers Society.

The project was funded to the tune of £20,000 thanks to funding from the Postcode Lottery, Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group, Doncaster Council and the Older People’s Mental Health Services at Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH).

John said: “It was a great honour to open the Community Dementia Garden and I hope Doncaster residents and those from further afield head to the garden and enjoy their time there. It’s a great asset to have for the community. It is always great to see so many organisations working together for such a worthwhile cause.”

Eileen Harrington, of DonMentia and a RDaSH Governor, said: “While the garden looks really good now it will look lovely in the springtime and even more glorious when it is in full bloom.  It is a garden that has been planned and designed for long term and with year-round interest.”

Wayne Goddard, Integrated Lead for Dementia in Doncaster, said: “It was our aim to create a stimulating, relaxing and safe environment for people living with dementia, as well as their carers, to enjoy. The garden has been designed to be multi-sensory to prompt memory recall by appealing to senses such as sight, smell, touch, sound and even taste as we go through the seasons.”

High sheriff opens dementia garden

High Sheriff John Holt is pictured opening the Community Dementia Garden, surrounded by representatives from the charities and organisations who came together for the project.