Trust team transform wasted land into ‘fantastic’ sensory garden

DELIGHTED: Home manager Val Pitt cutting the ribbon with Prince's Trust volunteers

DELIGHTED: Home manager Val Pitt cutting the ribbon with Prince's Trust volunteers

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A team of Princes Trust volunteers have transformed a “useless” strip of land into a sensory garden for dementia sufferers.

The group, aged between 16 and 24 from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service Prince’s Trust Kirkham Team 28, spent two weeks overhauling land at Banksfield Nursing Home in Fulwood as part of a 12-week leadership course.

After “begging and borrowing” equipment and materials from local business, the youngsters installed a path, lights, flowers and shrubs to stimulate people with dementia.

“The group did a lot of research on dementia beforehand and spoke to the staff”, said programme support worker Lisa Roylance.

“We found out that the residents with dementia like to walk in circles, so we put the figure-of-eight ‘infinity’ path in, and chose flowers to give all different smells and colours.

“We discovered that red isn’t a colour people with dementia like, so there’s no red flowers or plants at all. Instead there’s loads of pinks and we’ve got multi-coloured heathers, which also add another texture.

A bench and a coffee table has also been installed.

Val Pitt, manager of the home, said: “We’re delighted and the people from the Princes Trust were fantastic. We haven’t been able to use the garden yet because of the weather, but everyone who’s looked thinks its brilliant. Before it was just a strip of grass that served no useful purpose.”

Lisa added: “Everyone’s benefitted because the young people have also got so much out of it. Some of them have never done any gardening before and this has also encouraged them to work together and communicate.”

The home have now agreed to take two Princes Trust volunteer as a carers.