Garden Of Delights For Sheltered Scheme

Elderly residents at a sheltered housing scheme ‘The Brighton’ in Silverdale, Newcastle-under-Lyme, will be celebrating on Monday (15th November) when they launch their new sensory garden.

The garden was designed by the residents themselves. It was created by landlord, Aspire Housing, involving young trainees from its sister training company PM Training, which tackles worklessness among young people.

It was funded by the Realise Foundation; the regeneration charity set up this summer by the Aspire Group to improve the local environment, raise skills, create apprenticeships, encourage learning and help people into employment.

A previously unused central lawn, which is overlooked by many of the 30 bungalows has been transformed and now features raised planting beds, specially designed seating, a rose arch and a bird bath; as well as a range of plants which will bloom in the spring.

As this £9,000 project was developed, the residents were consulted, their ideas were incorporated and they also signed off the final design.

Resident Mrs Maureen Kirkham said: “This used to be a plain, patch of grass but now it’s a place we will all enjoy.

“When it’s cold and wintery we will be able to put food out for the birds and watch them coming and going. In the summer it will look absolutely beautiful with the flowers in bloom, and we will be able to sit in the garden with friends, family and neighbours.”

A tea party will take place on Monday 15 November at 2pm. At this event, the scheme’s oldest resident, 97-year-old Mrs Alice Hulme will cut an opening ribbon.

Will Nixon, Director of Regeneration for the Aspire Group, said: “We operate an ongoing programme of developments to enhance the local environment and improve people’s quality of life.

“This has been an especially rewarding project that over the coming years will bring a great deal of pleasure to our residents at The Brighton. Helping people to continue to live independently is a key objective for us, and this will encourage residents to keep active and contribute to their quality of life.”