An inclusive gardening project that allows people with learning disabilities, autism, and mental health concerns to learn and develop new gardening skills.

The project is run by the national social care charity Community Integrated Care (CIC) in partnership with Renova and Community Health Partnerships (CHP). CHP are the head tenant at the hospital which includes a 30-bed inpatient ward. The project gives people who access care and support via CIC an exciting platform to form friendships, achieve personal successes and develop horticultural skills. CIC engage volunteers creating opportunities for personal and social development and a potential pathway to paid work or volunteering.

The garden space was created to allow patients, visitors and staff at Newton to have a calm space to sit in, unwind and enjoy all year round.

There are raised beds, tables and seating areas and accessible footpaths to allow full access for wheelchair users and to enable easy access throughout the garden. The garden includes a sensory area with scented flowers, as well as vegetables and a herb garden. The volunteers work in the garden includes herb growing, basket making, planting and cutting of flower beds, potato growing, wildflower meadow creation, as well as willow and hazel fence making. Volunteers visit the garden up to three times a week and derive huge benefits from visiting and working in the garden.

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