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Sensory garden to improve the lives of vulnerable residents

The construction of a new sensory garden will enable residents at a home for vulnerable adults in Irchester to make the most of the great outdoors.
Spire Homes, which manages more than 4,000 properties across Northamptonshire, has created the garden at its scheme on School Road, which provides 24-hour care for two residents with complex needs.
The space was transformed thanks to the support of Spire’s contractor Burleys, which donated time, money and expertise to help complete the project.

The Burleys team on site at the new sensory garden

Organiser Megan Sanger, who is an Assistant Surveyor at Spire Homes – which is part of Longhurst Group, one of the leading housing associations in the Midlands – said: “Myself and a colleague were discussing the garden with the mother of one of the residents, when it became clear that we should do something to help.
“The pond in the garden had drained and she was upset because her daughter used to enjoy listening to the frogs and hearing the running water.
“I felt this was a real shame for the residents and so I wanted to do something with the garden that they could benefit from.
“I called Burleys and told them I wanted to install a sensory garden and asked them to come up with some ideas on how we could do it.
“They put together a plan and offered to donate £250 worth of plants. They also designed a path so that residents could access the area. Previously there wasn’t one, meaning residents couldn’t get across the grass in their wheelchairs.
“With the new path installed, it’s so much easier for the residents to get out and enjoy the garden. Burleys have also donated and installed a bird table to welcome animal visitors and a wind chime to provide extra stimulus.
“Family members of the residents have already called me a number of times to offer their thanks and to say that they can’t wait until spring, when the garden will be in full bloom and they can enjoy their garden again.
“Our vision at Longhurst Group is to improve the lives of our customers and I think this is a shining example of how we do that.”

“Our vision at Longhurst Group is to improve the lives of our customers and I think this is a shining example of how we do that.”

Megan Sanger, Assistant Surveyor, Spire Homes

Penny Nadal, whose daughter Lisa is a resident at the scheme, said: “I can’t thank everyone involved enough for what they’ve done.
“Previously, it was difficult for Lisa to make the most of the garden, but it has been absolutely transformed. The renovated garden is easily accessible and it’s now a really stimulating environment.
“Lisa can now go down to the garden on her wheelchair using the new path and make the most of the surroundings.
“I’d like to thank Megan for all that she’s done. She’s accommodated absolutely everything that we could have wanted. She’s an absolute gem!”
Alan Wadsworth, Contracts Manager at Burleys, added: “We’ve got a fantastic relationship with Spire Homes – and Longhurst Group – and so when we were asked, we were only too happy to get involved.
“It’s been brilliant to be able to give something back to the community. We’re very pleased with the end result and we hope the residents enjoy their new garden.”

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