Thursday, 20 June 2024
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Thursday, 20 June 2024

Hospice’s new sensory garden to feature at the Lincolnshire Show

St Barnabas Hospice has partnered with Riseholme College to develop a sensory garden using only sustainable and recycled materials, which will feature at this year’s Lincolnshire Show.

The show garden was originally meant to be developed in 2020 for the new St Barnabas wellbeing hospice in Boston, but due to Covid, this couldn’t take place. Nevertheless, the staff at St Barnabas pressed ahead and incorporated elements of the design of the garden into their new Boston Wellbeing Centre.

This year’s sensory garden will feature at the Lincolnshire Show and will then be moved and incorporated into the St Barnabas Wellbeing Centre in Louth. At the Lincolnshire Show, members of the public can take a walk through the garden and enjoy the tranquil space.

Designed by Caroline Stanley, a local landscape gardener, the garden is a reflective and relaxing space for all to enjoy. The garden encapsulates dementia-friendly elements and senses of the mind due to the fragrant plants, reminiscent of gin botanicals like thyme and rosemary, with some of the flower beds raised to allow patients with limited mobility to touch and smell the flowers.

Both the staff and students from Riseholme College helped with the development of the sustainable garden, using reclaimed metals, recycled potato boxes, donated pallets, and coffee sacks.

Garden designer, Caroline Stanley, said:

“The garden I’ve designed, it’s got the title ‘The Circle of Life’. The circle of life makes you think of the energy of nature, which is all about renewal. It’s very important to try and create a garden which will be a lovely vegetated space.”

Head of Wellbeing Services, Mandy Irons, said:

“We’re delighted to be working with the Lincolnshire show and Riseholme College to create a new sensory garden for the patients and families to relax in and use as part of their therapy.

“I think people just see a garden, and it’s not until you really start to think about it and what helps people and their families right across the age range that you really understand that it is so much more than just a garden. It is going to be such a huge benefit to everybody and our staff as well will be able to enjoy it, so thank you so much to everyone involved in the development.”

Occupational Therapist at St Barnabas Hospice, Laura Kopczyk, said:

“Sensory needs have had more of a profile in the past few years and recommendations for sensory interventions are regularly used for dementia patients and in psychiatry. Awareness of sensory preferences can inform a patient’s treatment, especially if they suffer from anxiety or depression.

“Different patients have different relaxation methods. Some patients may enjoy exercising and walking, while others may enjoy looking at all the colours, smelling the different smells and listening to the birds. Also, with the sensory garden, staff will be able to use the garden to debrief with colleagues.

“In the Louth garden, we already have pheasants and rabbits hopping about, so the garden already looks really good, and the new sensory garden will just enhance this. It will be so rewarding for the staff, patients and volunteers to be a part of it.”

Join St Barnabas Hospice at the Lincolnshire Show on the 22nd and 23rd of June from 8 am to 6 pm, taking place at the Lincolnshire Showground. You can get your tickets to the event at


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