Creating a unique Sensory Garden

@ the heart of Woolwich

Proposal:

artFix is excited to bring you a unique Sensory Garden. We need your support to help create this beautiful and welcoming garden at the Woolwich cafe, right in the middle of Woolwich high street.

The main aim will be to promote physical and mental health and well-being. It will provide stimulation with colours, smells, sounds and touch of wildlife and nature. This multi-sensory stimulation and contact with nature can restore the body and promote feelings of calmness, reduce stress and lower blood pressure.

It will also provide a space for reflection and privacy, reminiscence opportunities to talk and socialise with others. 

Who is the garden for:

One of the main focuses will be to provide a safe and welcoming place for people who live with dementia. This will be done by creating an outdoor space with plenty of exposure to natural light, contact with nature and promoting its physical and mental health benefits. This will give the opportunity to release tension and anxiety borne from being in care and finally it provides a safe secluded space for reflection and privacy.

Another focus will be to provide a safe place for vulnerable groups within the community where it will be possible to meet other people and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of a beautiful garden, cafe and events space.

In order to be inclusive the garden will also be open to everyone and will provide the opportunity to relax, meet people, plant some seeds, water the plants or simply enjoy a nice cup of tea or coffee which will enable to further strengthen the community bonds. Through involving younger people in looking after the garden and running workshops and activities these would help nurture intergenerational relationships. So that it will also help people with dementia and carers to feel part of their community. According to the Alzheimer’s Society one third of people with dementia do not feel part of their community.

Activities:

artFix will use the sensory garden as a place for different people and communities to come together by providing a free space for events such as yoga, meditation, artistic workshops, exercise and performing arts. These events will enhance the connectivity of different groups and help people identify themselves with the local environment and community.

Memorial:

The garden will be a memorial in honour of the literary Dame Jean Iris Murdoch, an Irish and British writer who was diagnosed with Alzheimer and is a reference for the people living with dementia due to her contribution towards the scientific study of Alzheimer.

John Bayley, Iris Murdoch’s husband, says: “Iris donated her brain to medical science to help in the search for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. We are still a long way off from that cure, but every study that sheds light on how Alzheimer’s develops will ultimately help scientists to diagnose and treat patients at the earliest possible stages of this disease.”

Our support | connections:

We will work closely with related groups who support the creation of the sensory garden and will help to shape it, build it and run it:

  • artFix is registered as a dementia-friendly space / cafe
  • artFix is a member of the Dementia Inclusive Greenwich Initiative which is part of dementia-friendly communities.
  • We are supported by the Royal Borough of Greenwich Dementia Group
  • Involving the Greenwich Peninsula Ecology group
  • Involving the Men in Sheds and Women in Sheds groups
  • We have the backing of the Mayor as he has pledged to help people living with dementia

 We will deliver:

  • Consult landscape architect and surveyor to receive a quote
  • Finalise design and constructions requirements
  • Hire project manager to deliver the project
  • Appoint contractors and building / gardening company
  • Buy equipment including barrier-free toilet
  • Install accessible toilets

Steps to get it done:

  • Designing the garden
  • Building the garden
  • Promoting the opening of the garden
  • Opening the garden to the public

Initial stage – before the works:

                  

     

Decking and fence being installed:

                   

Progress update – 1st stage is finished – back garden is open

(not the sensory garden yet)

We have created a brand new outdoor seating area at our back garden in Woolwich high street! You can now enjoy our lovely homemade food and a coffee or a glass of wine.

Please be aware that is is not yet a Sensory Garden. and for that reason we still have no accessibility for wheelchairs, prams and push chairs. We continue to work hard in order to make this a reality.

 

We are constantly working on this project, so please keep checking this page for any updates.