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Everyone loves a garden. For disabled/older people, those living with dementia, and their carers, having access to an enjoyable outdoor space can meet many needs. However, access to such places, that also are a safe environment, is difficult. Gardens that are safe and that allow people with a disability to interact with the community are rarer still. Tapestry intends to create a dementia friendly, sensory, memory garden that EVERYONE can enjoy. The Garden, which will be open and accessible to the whole community, will be at Tapestry’s Community Hub. The garden will be stunning mix of colour, sounds and smells designed to stimulate the senses and will be built in a series of styles that will stimulate memory through reminiscence. The garden will also aim to tackle loneliness by providing a place to meet/volunteer/work so people of all ages can interact and form friendship groups. The garden will also be linked to the onsite restaurant so people can eat, the food they grow, together.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
The garden will be more than just a beautiful garden it will be a garden created and planned for enjoyment by all. It will have features that will make it especially appealing to older adults and those living with dementia. It will contain areas with objects, scents and areas that trigger good memories, for example, mint, roses, grass, it will include seating areas where people relax and activity areas where individuals can interact with objects and audio visual experiences within the garden. Many older people, and those living with dementia/disability, have built up a lot of knowledge and experience about gardening. The garden is designed to allow them to contribute to the garden maintenance, in varying ways, from active involvement in digging and planting to smelling their favourite flowers, or growing/picking herbs or vegetables and discussing what Tapestry’s chefs could cook with them for tomorrows lunch. These activities will be supported by volunteers from the whole community.
Steps to get it done:
Importantly the garden, as well as the restaurant facilities that it will link to, will be available to the community as a whole, so that older people, those living with dementia/disability and the carers will have an opportunity to interact with the whole community. Events and activities, built around the growing, cooking and eating of food, grown in the garden, will be organised to encourage and increase this integration as this will be a key role of the garden. We will run a marketing campaign to ensure that all sections of the Havering community are aware of the garden and are encouraged to use it.
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