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Orbit East launches new sensory garden

On Thursday 26 June customers, staff and local people officially opened a brand new sensory garden at Childwick House supported housing scheme in Newmarket. The garden was created to provide a safe, secure and stimulating environment for people living with dementia at the scheme and their carers.

The garden was created to stimulate the senses and includes elements of sound and touch. Plants for the garden were selected for their colour, scent and texture. A water feature with fish has been added as a focal point and pergola has been added to offer shelter and privacy. There are also open spaces where people can come together for a chat to socialise or take part in activities.

Jo Campbell-Rattray, an Orbit customer who lives at Childwick House, says; "The garden is absolutely splendid! I attended the opening with my daughter and we had a wonderful time."

Paul Smith, Area Business Manager for Orbit Independent Living in the East says: "It was a great opportunity to thank all of those involved in the project for their hard work. The weather was fantastic, people seemed to enjoy celebrating our new garden with us and even a few of our new goldfish put in an appearance. We are pleased our customers are happy with the new garden and hope they enjoy using it in the future."

Funding for the garden was provided by Suffolk County Council as part of a larger bid to them by the Department of Health, and was granted for both customers living at Childwick House to use as well as the weekly Synergy Café. The Café is held every Thursday by Sue Ryder for people living with dementia and their carers and gives attendees the opportunity to discuss issues, listen to guest speakers and participate in a variety of activities in an informal setting.

Childwick House is a supported housing scheme in Newmarket for people over the age of 55 who need support in order to live as independently as possible. It consists of 24 self-contained apartments, three of which have two bedrooms for double occupancy. Orbit provides a team of care staff to provide personal care and support on an individually assessed basis and regular social activities are organised by a Resident Social Committee.