New garden to give peace to people with dementia

Groundwork have received money to regenerate a garden at the Solaris Centre.  Pictured are Mike Crowther (right) and Stephen Hodges from Groundwork with Peter Brooks from Blackpool Council (centre).
Groundwork have received money to regenerate a garden at the Solaris Centre. Pictured are Mike Crowther (right) and Stephen Hodges from Groundwork with Peter Brooks from Blackpool Council (centre).
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People in Blackpool can look forward to relaxing in idyllic greenery thanks to plans to create a therapeutic garden at a popular resort community centre.

The Veolia Environmental Trust have awarded environmental group Groundwork a grant of £23,654 to fund the creation of a relaxing garden in the grounds of the Solaris Centre on New South Promenade.

Groundwork’s landscape architects have worked with Blackpool Council to a design a space that meets the needs of visitors with dementia who frequent the centre.

The new green spaces project will create plans for gentle pathways, even surfacing and plenty of seating where patients and their families can rest.

Work is expected to begin on the site later this year.

Stephen Hodges, project manager at Groundwork, said: “This grant is fantastic news. The garden will be the first in Blackpool specifically designed to support dementia sufferers.

“It has been designed to ease stress, anxiety and aggressive behaviour, which are all potential symptoms of dementia.

“The wider community will also be able to use the garden, and we’re hoping it will become a social space enjoyed by a wide range of people.

“We’re really looking forward to starting work on the project.”

Paul Taylor, executive director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, added: “This project will provide a pleasant and relaxing space that will benefit the mental health of the centre’s visitors.

“We are seeing an ongoing reduction in the amount of funds that we can award, so Groundwork needs to be congratulated on securing this grant in an extremely competitive environment.”