Tesco shoppers urged to vote for sensory garden project

12 September 2016
Demelza has been shortlisted for an award to transform a drab piece of green space into a sensory garden.

The charity applied for funding through the Tesco Bags of Help awards and was shortlisted, guaranteeing an £8,000 grant.

But Demelza could potentially win even more as three charities are up against the public vote to win a bigger grant, either £10,000 or £12,000. Shoppers to the three Tesco stores in Sittingbourne and the superstore in Faversham can vote for their favourite charity from 31 October to 13 November.

The one with the biggest number of votes will be awarded £12,000, the second £10,000 and the third £8,000.

The green area which is part of the six acre site at Demelza Kent in Sittingbourne is currently unused as it is not fully wheelchair friendly and is in need of a bit of TLC.

With an £8,000 grant it will be transformed into a sensory garden with a pond, two bridges, themed plants and decorations to create a Chinese water garden. A pagoda already on site will be refurbished and a burner added with incense, linking to the sensory theme. The pond will link to an enchanted forest area where there will be a woodland house, swamp area, toadstools, sensory lighting as well as some seating areas.

If Demelza is successful in getting the £10,000 grant an entrance and exit arch will be added as well as additional sensory equipment, a bamboo water run, a large gong and a wider variety of grasses which the children will be able to touch, all of which will enhance the multi- sensory environment Demelza is creating.

A £12,000 grant would see Demelza putting up a partition around the new sensory garden to help the children using the area feel more part of the surroundings, disguising neighbouring storage sheds and allotments. Larger plants could be purchased and the gardens used for music and art therapy. A range of additional musical instruments could also be bought.

Debbie McSwiney, Care Services Lead – Kent said: “Having a new sensory garden would bring that end of the garden to life and make it so much more exciting and interesting for the children.”