Firefighters at Christchurch fire station have created a sensory garden, for use by Christchurch Connect day service.
The service gives adults with a range of cognitive learning disabilities, physical disabilities and early on-set dementia, the chance to take part in meaningful daytime activities. For over ten years, the group has looked after an allotment within the fire station grounds, growing fruit and vegetables throughout the year. However, they wanted to create a sensory garden as well, to support users with more specific needs, who are unable to help with the gardening work.
Firefighters from Christchurch Blue Watch created the garden for them, with an area of raised planters made from recycled car tyres, wheelchair accessible paths, and an easily accessible composting area. The sensory garden has been created in memory of Robert Freeman, whose stepfather Bill Buckley is a retired Station Officer in the fire and rescue service. Robert’s mother, Jackie, has supported clients at Christchurch Connect for many years.
Funding was provided by Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, with donations and discounted materials supplied by local businesses including Travis Perkins, Macpenny’s Garden Centre, and The Fencing Centre, Christchurch.