Sensory Rehabilitation Garden Project
Oxford Head Injury Services has officially launched the Sensory Rehabilitation Garden project at our Activity and Rehabilitation Centre in Kennington.
It has been a project that we have been wanting to carry out for years. Our Activity and Rehabilitation centre has a garden, which is not currently used to its full potential, which is a real shame.
What difference will it make?
A Sensory Rehabilitation Garden is carefully designed to stimulate all the senses – individually and in combination – of its visitors, as well as providing an appealing experience for sight, smell, touch, taste and sound. As an open and safe space for service users, a sensory garden can serve as a:
- Calming place with a seating area and ambience of calm to relax and recharge
- Therapeutic space for service users to enjoy nature and to recuperate
- Community area to grow Headway’s own flowers, vegetables and fruits.
- Learning experience that appeals to service users’ senses, in which they can learn about nature, gardening and wildlife, increases socialisation and confidence.
As the garden will feature a variety of objects, surfaces, plants, scents, and sounds, it will be an important tool to those affected by brain injury, for learning new or regain lost skills, showing initiative and getting actively involved in upkeeping the garden. Just the act of planting a plant or casting seeds and later watching them grow and flourish, can be the most empowering experience.
Our plans for Headway’s own Sensory Rehabilitation Garden
The garden will have a seated areas for respite and socialisation, an accessible pathway in the figure of eight, water features, flower beds, a herb garden, visually-pleasing flowers and fruit trees. As well as these features, it is important that the sensory garden has “everyday” features such as a lawnmower and a watering can/ hose to improve our service users’ confidence when integrating back into community life.
The Sensory Rehabilitation Garden will be used primarily by our service users, specifically for people with brain injury, however not limited to the service users. We would like the space to be used by carers as a form of respite. This means that the project will make a significant lasting difference to a range of people within the community. For example, service users may gain their confidence back in a shorter time frame, the garden may teach people new skills such as growing vegetables, and it will certainly increase socialisation – which is one of the most important activities for people with brain injury. Overall, the aim of the garden is to bring happiness to people’s lives and improve recovery following a brain injury.
We are currently seeking grants and donations to go towards this exciting new project. We are thrilled to have received generous donations of £6,900 from Morrisons Plc, a donation of £507 from Play2Give, Plant Pots and soil from Tracey, manager at Homebase and Lavender from Paul, Service User at Oxford Head Injury Services.
We are seeking funding from other sources from trust grants and donations and encouraging people to organise their own corporate or community fundraising challenges too. Therefore, we are launching our Sensory Rehabilitation Garden fundraising campaign.
We have already assigned a gardening professional who will run the project over time and is happy to invest their gardening expertise with our charity’s project.