New sensory garden for Downpatrick
Published: Fri, 6 Apr 2012
A new sensory garden was officially opened today at the Mountview Assessment Centre in Downpatrick.
The garden was constructed with the help of volunteers, just a year after the idea was thought of.
Seamus Laird, manager at Mountview Assessment and Review Centre explained, ‘Mountview Assessment Centre is a facility which supports some 120 young adults with a disability. We had a strip of land with some trees on it and thought it would be great location to have a sensory garden which would help young people to use their senses of sight, touch, and smell.
‘With some initial funding from Newcastle Lions and the generosity of families, the Housing Executive took up the challenge and after a lot of hard work over the winter months we now have this wonderful garden which everyone can enjoy.’
Our Chief Executive, John McPeake commented, ‘As soon as our Downpatrick staff heard about the project they were very keen to get their hands dirty and get involved. Working with a range of people including 60 apprentice labourers, bricklayers and joiners from South East Regional College and with donations of stone, concrete, paving, garden panelling and fencing from Mc Cormick Quarry, CEMAC, Stevenson Newcastle, Tobermore Brick, Brooks and J P Corry the project took shape.
‘The sensory garden includes raised flower beds with pleasant strong smelling shrubs, paving, paths, bird boxes, fencing, as well as two gazebos, all of which are accessible by those with a disability.
‘ We are very pleased to have been able to help with the project and hope that it will be enjoyed for years to come by in Mountview. Staff throughout the Housing Executive have been involved in initiatives which have had an impact beyond housing whether it’s practical help in their local communities or fundraising for worthwhile causes. The creation of this sensory garden is an excellent example of what can be achieved when everyone comes together for the good of the community.
'I am delighted with what has been achieved here at Mountview with the help and support of our staff here in Downpatrick and our Grounds maintenance team in Newtownards.’