Firefighters at Christchurch fire station have created a sensory garden for use by clients who attend Christchurch Connect day service.
For over ten years, the clients at Christchurch Connect have looked after an allotment within the fire station grounds, growing fruit and vegetables throughout the year. However, they had always wanted to develop a sensory garden as well, to support those clients with more specific needs who are unable to help with the gardening work, and the firefighters decided to create the garden for them.
A formal opening ceremony was held this month, where clients who have worked on developing the garden received certificates in recognition of their achievements.
The garden includes wheelchair accessible paths, and an easily accessible composting area; bug houses and a hedgehog hotel have been added by Christchurch Connect users.
Watch Manager Matt Kiddell led on the project and said: “The garden was opened in memory of Robert Freeman, who sadly died in 2016. His stepfather Bill Buckley is a retired Station Officer from Dorset, and his mum Jackie has supported clients at Christchurch Connect to develop and learn in a safe, positive environment. We wanted to acknowledge all she has done and continues to do, as well as providing the day service with a wonderful new facility.”
Funding for the project was provided by Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service and thanks go to the Service and to those local businesses who donated materials for free or with significant discounts – these include Travis Perkins, Macpenny’s Garden Centre and The Fencing Centre (Christchurch).
We also thank the firefighters at Christchurch fire station for their hard work and support to our clients and look forward to seeing the garden mature and flourish whilst our clients enjoy this wonderful facility and the opportunity to develop their gardening skills.