Sensory garden created for children with specialist needs

STAFF from Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust’s Gramer and Holly House, the highly regarded respite service for children in North Warwickshire, generated the necessary funds to have a fabulous and much needed sensory garden created for the children and their families.

The garden was formally opened on 19 February 2019 by Tim Stimpson, ex Leicester Tigers rugby star and supporter of Wooden Spoon.

Mary Taylor, Nurse Manager at Gramer and Holly House, said: “A huge thank you to our staff, along with those involved in supporting the campaign from the beginning, including our children and their families for their hard work and dedication in raising the necessary funds to complete the garden. I’d like to especially thank Wooden Spoon Warwickshire for their very generous donation of £12,000, and Tim for kindly agreeing to support our opening.”

Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

(L-R) Dr Sharon Binyon, Medical Director of the Trust, Tim Stimpson, Wooden Spoon Ambassador, Mary Taylor, Nurse Manager Gramer House, Ian Holroyd, Wooden Spoon Warwickshire Chair, Lisa Harrison-Byrne, UHCW Charity Fundraiser and Tracey Wrench, Chief Nurse and Chief Operating Officer of the Trust.

Staff recognise that families often face challenges, have emergency situations and it can be difficult to find support from family and friends at short notice. As a service, they try to be flexible and work with families to support and offer additional respite at short notice.

Respite plays a vital role for all parents, carers and children. It provides a much needed break for all and it ensures that parents have the opportunity to have a break from caring in what is sometimes a challenging and demanding environment. It also gives the child a chance to interact with their peers and to help develop social skills.

The teams at Gramer and Holly House are extremely proud of the service provided and are always looking at innovative ways to improve the service for the children in their care. They encourage community interaction and like to take the children out to enhance their learning skills. Clare Paine, Deputy Nurse Manager from the service, commented: “We encourage the children’s communication and social skills, with the aim of reducing their stress and anxiety, as well as helping those with sensory processing disorders.

“I am very proud we have achieved our goal of creating such a wonderful garden for the children and their families. The garden will add so much to their development. It will be used as a calming place and a gentle way of stimulating senses; a place where the children who stay at both Gramer and Holly House will benefit. The children have a range of health issues including learning disabilities, complex health needs, challenging behaviour and Autism, coupled with other sensory processing disorders. Our aim is to ensure all the children feel safe and comfortable in exploring their senses without feeling overwhelmed by them.”

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