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Sensory garden unveiled

Published on 21 June 2018 01:11 PM

Earlier this week saw the unveiling of a specially designed sensory garden at Age UK Camden’s Great Croft day centre in Kings Cross along with refurbished toilets and a new conservatory.

Day centres are a crucial place for older people in Camden, who are often isolated. The centre provides a range of activities such as yoga, crafts, singing and focusses on supporting those with dementia and other complex needs. The sensory garden is dementia friendly, with a plethora of benefits to those living with memory loss.

A centre member said “sometimes I get restless and like to walk around, the garden provides a safe space for me to do that. When I was growing up we had an allotment with herbs and the plants here remind me of that time.”

Therapeutic spaces such as these have been shown to help encourage exercise as well as relieving tension with the stimulation of colours, smells and wildlife bringing back positive memories.

Centre Manager Abul Choudhury said “it’s a really special place right in the heart of Kings Cross, the garden allows members to access memories. Hafsa, one of our members who grew up in Bangladesh has managed to grow a banana tree which continues to flower and fruit outdoors, she says it reminds her of her village when she was young. It’s been great to see our community come together to help create this sensory garden and we’re very thankful to our brilliant volunteers.”

The event was attended by Council Cabinet Member Councillor Jonathan Simpson and Age UK Camden Trustee Barbara Hughes who both spoke about the value of community and praised the garden as an oasis of calm in a busy area.

Local residents came to the open evening to look around, as well as the volunteers and funders who helped make the garden possible- proving everyone can enjoy a sensory garden!

The cost of the renovations was over £170,000 and we would like to thank our donors: Camden Council, Wolfson Foundation, St Andrew's Holborn Trust, St Giles in the Fields & Bloomsbury United Charity, Rothchilds and an anonymous donor.