New garden for home is food for the senses

Nigel Anderson opening the new sensory garden
Nigel Anderson opening the new sensory garden

Teenagers from Banbury and Brackley have joined forces to build a sensory garden for people with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.

The group of 16 and 17-year-olds are enrolled in the National Citizen Service (NCS), which is backed by Prime Minister David Cameron and Bear Grylls, and in the third week of the scheme were challenged to plan a social action project to benefit the local community.

They built a sensory garden at the Red House Nursing Home in Syresham, a space where residents and relatives can relax. The project had to be completed during August, September and October.

NCS member, Brina Johnson said: “Our aim was to create a space where the residents and their relatives could relax, while giving those suffering with Alzheimer’s and dementia something to smile about.”

Starting with no funds, the young team kicked off with a fundraising campaign, which involved baking and selling cakes at fetes and markets, and organising a Brackley ‘fun day’.

The team also received support from local companies.

After raising enough money, the team started work, turning a patch of grass into a garden with raised beds, wind chimes, benches, mirrors, an archway, tyres filled with herbs, a corner arbour, two water features and a carefully laid path amongst a variety of aromatic, colourful plants.

The finished product was officially opened by Dorothy Dunkley, the chair of Syresham Parish and Nigel Anderson from NCS, in front of residents of the nursing home and the working group’s family members.

The group said it wanted to thank CJM Fencing, Gilroy Steel Solicitors, Homebase Banbury, World of Water Aquatics Bicester, Robb’s Tyre Services and Spratt and Endicott Solicitors.

The NCS is a voluntary social and personal development programme for teenagers aged between 16 and 17.

It was set up in 2011 as part of David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ initiative.