Options Malvern View is celebrating National Gardening Week as its new sensory garden nears completion.
The sensory garden is a result of the Options WOW initiative, which started in April 2014, and gives all Options services the opportunity to bid for projects they feel will have a positive impact on the people they support, staff and visitors.
WOW has already proved to be a successful initiative, and has helped fund a water feature, a raised garden bed to grow vegetables and an outdoor classroom at other locations.
Options Malvern View is a specialist residential service, based in Worcestershire, offering personal development programmes that enable people to fulfil their potential for independence.
Options provide specialist services for children, young people and adults with autistic spectrum conditions (ASC), learning disabilities and complex needs and behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD).
National Gardening Week, which takes place from 11th to 17th April 2016, was launched five years ago, and has become the country’s biggest celebration of gardening, with thousands of people, charities and retailers getting involved.
Speaking of the reasons behind creating a sensory garden, Options Malvern View deputy registered manager, Josh Wheeler, said: “Due to our location, we have a lot of land to work with, and we have a green at the front of the house, which we thought would be perfect for the sensory garden. The garden has been in planning for a couple of years, and we began creating the space almost six months ago. Now we’ve received all of our funding, we can’t wait to get back on track, and hope the garden will be ready by mid-May.”
The sensory garden has been designed with people they support in mind, who have been heavily involved in the design process, through a consultation wall. The consultation wall has allowed different features of the garden to be selected.
The garden will feature a central veranda, surrounded by a circular pathway, and trees to provide quiet areas. Hammocks and wind chimes will be placed around the garden.
Speaking of the benefits the sensory garden will bring to the people that Malvern View support, Josh said: “The garden will provide a lovely quiet space, especially during the summer months. Some of the people we support don’t get the chance to get off site, due to anxiety, so the garden will improve the lives of those living at Malvern View.
“We wanted to make the garden a nice sensory area. The people we support at Malvern View requested hammocks for the garden, which will provide movement orientated sensory, and will be a great benefit. The chimes throughout the garden will also provide a calming atmosphere. It’s a big project for us, but we are all really looking forward to it.”