The idea to design a Sensory Garden came about in 1999. Our service users wanted to escape from the confines of their home for just half a day but there were no suitable destinations within Newcastle which were accessible, to enjoy and have a cup of tea with toilets facilities nearby. Alongside this, service users saw their involvement in the planning and development of the Sensory garden, as a way of giving back something to the city when they felt, due to sight loss, they could only be on the receiving end of help and support. Through involvement with the Sensory Garden service users were very happy to be making a positive contribution to the City. Over the years many visits to the Sensory Garden have been enjoyed.
We still maintain the Garden by arranging for groups from companies or agencies to come along to help for a half day – usually parties of about six to eight. We provide the gardening gloves, tools and usually end the afternoon with a tea or ice cream from the cafe next door.
We need volunteers to train as sighted guides to support our service users when we arrange outings to the garden. If you feel that your group or company could help – either as a working party or to train as sighted guides – please contact Newcastle Vision Support.