Children, parents and staff at Langside School, an independent, non-maintained, special day school run by Dorset charity Diverse Abilities, celebrated the official opening of a brand new sensory garden this week thanks to the hard work of volunteers from Barclays, ISS Landscaping and MA Hart plus donations of materials from Gibbs & Dandy and New Milton Sand & Ballast.
The sensory garden has been a six month project to rejuvenate the outside area at the school, which provides education to 28 children from the ages of two to 19 who have special educational needs and physical difficulties, often with complex medical conditions.
Volunteers from the local businesses started from scratch to revamp the area for the children to enjoy ready for this summer by clearing plants, weeds and mounds of undergrowth before moving onto digging up the garden, setting concrete borders and planting sensory plants and installing sensory items that the children can easily reach when they visit the garden.
The garden was completed with a sensory arch at the entrance to the area, which was kindly donated by the Barclays team. David Wilson, the Director of Infrastructure at Barclays Global Payments, officially opened the new garden area alongside parents and children from the school and said: “As a major employer in the Dorset region, Barclays – in conjunction with its corporate partners – has an incredibly strong community programme and I am very proud of the efforts of all 25 of the volunteers in creating something very special for such a worthwhile cause.”
Jon Seaward, School Principal, said: “The transformation of the sensory garden is just astonishing and we can’t wait to see the children benefiting from all the efforts made from all our fantastic volunteers this summer.”
Sarah Harrison, Volunteer Recruitment Manager, said: “We can’t thank everyone enough for the fantastic work that has been undertaken at Langside School. The area looks fabulous and we want to say a massive thank you to every single volunteer for their efforts and enthusiasm.”
Diverse Abilities is always on the lookout for volunteers to help out on projects that will further fulfil the lives of adults and children with disabilities in Dorset. Please contact Sarah Harrison on 01202 718266 or email email@example.com if you would like to get involved and donate some of your spare time.