We proudly opened our new Sensory Garden this week, after 11 months of labour intensive work from over 50 volunteers.
Demelza’s new sensory garden was funded by Tesco Groundworks - Tesco’s local community grant scheme, where money raised from the sale of carrier bags is used to fund local projects in communities throughout the UK. The scheme raised over £12,000 that was needed to transform an area of the hospice’s grounds, that were unused by families because of poor accessibility for children and young people in wheelchairs.
Demelza’s Senior Trusts Fundraiser, Laura Smyth said: “The plants and general feel of the area needed updating, so we thought turning it into a magical sensory garden would be an amazing project to undertake with the help of Tesco Groundworks.”
The transformation was made possible by 20 corporate volunteers from local businesses, listed below, and over 30 people who regularly volunteer for Demelza. The huge project is now ready for all the families who visit the Kent site for respite to enjoy.
Laura continues: “We now have paved and hard standing pathways and areas, so everyone can move around and enjoy being outside in a beautiful, private and tranquil space. Introducing the sensory aspect means the garden can be further enjoyed by our children and young people. This includes a large water feature, tactile and fragrant plants and flowers, figures and characters dotted around, pergolas and a range of musical instruments. We cannot wait to see this beautiful garden in full bloom come the spring.”
Lavinia Jarrett, Demelza’s Director of People and Resources, officially opened the Sensory Garden by cutting the ribbon and said:
“We would like to thank Tesco Groundworks for funding this amazing project and to everyone who worked tirelessly on the Sensory Garden and across the rest of the Demelza Kent site during 2017. Building the new garden, whilst maintaining the 6.5 acres of land for our children, young people and families to enjoy, has been a monumental undertaking. You have exceeded expectations and for that we would like to thank you wholeheartedly”.
A big thank you to the volunteers from the following companies….
Amicus Horizon (now Optivo)
M&S Hempstead Valley
Direct Line Group
KCC Tradings Team
Russell King Associates
Ernst and Young
Lloyds of London
Morrisons Distribution Centre