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Work starts on dementia garden transformation

Robert Mackie Mike Taylor Clare McFaden and Sarah Simmons in Meadow Ward Garden
Pictured: L-R Sarah Simmons -  Meadow Ward Manager, Clare McFadyen - Occupational Therapist, Robert Mackie - Director of Finance/Deputy CEO, Mike Taylor - Capital Programme Manager in the existing garden at Meadow Ward.

Work has commenced on a new sensory garden at a facility supporting patients with dementia.

The Meadow Green project will see the creation of a new, multipurpose therapeutic space for patients on Meadow Ward, located on the Princess of Wales Community Hospital site in Bromsgrove.

Run by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, the ward provides specialist inpatient care and treatment for people living with dementia.

The project will see the development of a landscaped multisensory garden and features such as a corner shop and potting shed, designed to recreate familiar everyday environments for patients.

The potting shed has been designed to enable those with a love of gardening to spend time in a familiar environment, where they can safely potter and rummage. 

A separate area will provide a space that can be customised to meet a range of therapeutic purposes, including a 'corner shop’ where patients will be able to pick up a newspaper or a café where they can enjoy a cup of tea and slice of cake.

Fran Tummey, Associate Director Specialist Mental Health & Learning Disability Services said, “This is a really exciting project that will support our teams to engage patients in meaningful activities specifically designed to improve their wellbeing.”

“Evidence suggests that sensory gardens can help a person with dementia connect with others by creating a shared experience and stimulating memories. Together with being outside in the fresh air this can greatly improve the physical and mental wellbeing of our patients.”

New Haven, which houses Meadow and Woodland Ward is a purpose built unit designed to support older adults experiencing difficulties that require extra support that cannot be provided at home. 

Patients across both wards can access a 60s themed laundrette and the Lavender Lounge, a multisensory room featuring objects synonymic of the era.

Sarah Simmonds, Meadow Ward Manager said “These spaces enable us to support patients to participate in a range of meaningful and purposeful activities that are essential for good health and wellbeing. 

"We are delighted to have these wonderful additions to the therapeutic interventions we are able to offer our patients".

The multi-purpose outdoor space will also provide a quiet area for staff to relax and reflect during their downtime.

Work is due to commence in March, with an official opening planned for later in the year.

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