Sensory garden in Norfolk
The Wayland Partnership was established as a Community Partnership in 1999. Their aim is to promote the economic, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing of Wayland, in the market town of Watton and 13 village parishes in the rural heart of Norfolk.
In 2017, the organisation was successful in its application to receive £17,000 to create a sensory garden to be used by people living with dementia, as well as their carers. Sensory gardens engage all of the senses in a communal environment, and can help people with dementia rediscover their world while providing a place for carers to find mutual support. The garden would also provide a beautiful and secure space in an easily accessible part of the town for people with dementia to get involved in activities and take part in new experiences.
After enlisting the help of various members of the local community, including businesses and local authorities, the sensory garden has now been completed. Other charities in the area also got involved in helping create the garden, with a group of young people from the Prince's Trust successfully building decking for the garden, as well as painting murals on the walls.
One of the volunteers at the garden is a former carer. She explained that being involved in the project had given her a feeling of renewed purpose, as in helping to create the garden she was giving something back to the community and helping establish a vital resource that she wished had been available to both herself and her mother.
The garden is now a centrepiece of the local community, and visited by individuals living with dementia and their carers five days a week.