Tuesday Gardening Group December 10, 2018

Thanks to funding we have received from a charitable trust, we have been running a pilot programme of social and therapeutic gardening sessions designed to improve the wellbeing of people living with dementia. Once a week, these volunteers came together in the Pavilion for supported sessions which included horticultural, craft and sensory-based activities. Martineau Gardens staff led the sessions and were supported by the huge generosity of some of our regular garden volunteers who came every week to enable the activities to be enjoyed by all. Together the group have planted up troughs with bulbs and plants, harvested potatoes, planted onion sets and made lavender bags. They have laughed, sung, gathered pumpkins, sown broad beans and pictured here, are Margaret and Sarah making a winter bird feeder together.  Activities are being observed by a researcher from Coventry University and we hope her findings will be used in developing future programmes. Observations so far are extremely promising and in a focus group with carers, one person reported that the self-confidence the experience gave his loved one, lasted for two days after  each session. She got so much from these pilot sessions that we are hoping to include her in our regular therapeutic horticulture programme.