Therapeutic Gardens is delighted to announce that we are working with Inner West Neighbour Aid (IWNA) to develop an exciting new community resource, the 5 Senses Therapeutic Garden!
This community green space is the brain-child of IWNA who support individuals who are frail, elderly or who live with a disability, together with their carers. These individuals represent some of our most vulnerable community members and the vision of IWNA is to assist people to live independently for longer. IWNA is primarily funded by the Department of Health and Ageing and relies heavily on volunteers to carry out their vital work.
IWNA offer a variety of services such as gardening, social outings and home visits, all designed to maintain independent living through strong community ties. This new garden will provide a much needed resource to support these services.
Therapeutic Gardens is excited by such an innovative project that promises to service the entire community through an inclusive design, aimed at providing garden and park facilities to the entire community. Features will be of benefit to the young and old, the disabled, those with special medical needs, as well as the wider community who enjoy the outdoors and want to maintain their health.
The implementation of this purpose-built garden, to be situated in Rhodes, is being partially funded by the City of Canada Bay Council and will be maintained and run by IWNA. The site is located adjacent to a preschool and will be heavily used be young children, as well as the clients of IWNA, helping to strengthen community ties between young and old. IWNA intend to conduct a number of therapies in the space, including horticultural therapy and pet therapies, amongst others.
The evidence of the mental and physical health benefits of these kinds of properly designed and resourced spaces is well-documented. Therapeutic Gardens is consulting with IWNA on the plans for the space and this process is already well-underway. Features include an active gardening area with raised garden beds, open lawns, extensive playground equipment and areas for children of all abilities, as well as general social spaces and areas for education. Each of the built and plant elements are being considered carefully to maximise accessibility, sensory experience, health and purpose to ensure this garden is a benchmark for public gardens and greenspaces throughout Australia.
Therapeutic Gardens will be conducting a thorough, in-depth case study of this project to help inform the process and design of future works by groups such as IWNA. The case study will examine and document all stages of the process, from inception through to the ultimate user experience. We are extremely supportive of this wonderful initiative and look forward to seeing similar spaces designed and implemented in other communities.
IWNA are looking for organisations to become involved with this project from its inception so they can be part of the evolution of the garden. If you think your organisation would like to be part of this extraordinary initiative and/or can assist with funding or in-kind donations, IWNA would love to hear from you. Contact Roman Deguchi on 0400 590 931 or email Roman at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how you think you can contribute.
Therapeutic Gardens will also be heavily involved in the communications strategy for the garden, so watch this space for further information about the design, the case study and the opening of this new and ground-breaking therapeutic space.