A garden makeover has made a huge difference to the people we support at Donec Mews, our residential home in Surrey, particularly Lisa who loves the new sensory garden.
Karen Bond, Service Manager at Donec Mews, told us about the transformation.
Our old garden had uneven, boggy lawn areas which were often too difficult to navigate for people with mobility issues and visual impairments. Now that all our residents can safely access the garden they are spending much more time outside. They are really enjoying the fresh air, sunshine, and the relaxing, therapeutic benefits of being surrounded by nature.
We have seen more interaction and communication between residents and a dramatic difference in Lisa since we installed a sensory garden. Lisa previously spent most of the day inside and didn’t talk much with other residents. But now she spends as much time outside as possible and her behaviour has completely changed. She is visibly happier, more relaxed, is much more social and interacts very positively with other residents and staff.
The sensory garden was installed with artificial turf and the residents had great fun choosing different coloured and textured stones that make a snake-shaped path. We have large beanbags, egg chairs, cubes that glow in different colours, a set of giant chimes, and giant connect four and snakes and ladders. We plan to get some planters, a water feature and more musical instruments.
This summer we’ve been holding more family BBQs and parties, and small groups often sit outside together during the day doing arts and crafts or playing games. During the recent hot spell everyone loved the holiday-like atmosphere of eating their evening meals outside together.
The garden makeover is proving hugely popular with all the residents and wouldn’t have been possible without generous donations. Thank you to everyone who has supported us.â