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29th May 2019
Lady Agnew cuts the ribbon to open the new sensory garden watched by Gina Dormer left and Amanda Skinner

Visually-impaired people living in a Norwich care home and neighbouring supported housing units can spend their summer enjoying an amazing new sensory garden – thanks to the generosity of a family of a former resident, the East of England Co-op, and Taverham Garden Centre.

High Sheriff of Norfolk Lady Agnew of Oulton was on hand to cut the ribbon and officially open the new garden, at the Norfolk & Norwich Association for the Blind’s Magpie Road premises.  The complex is home to the Thomas Tawell House care home, as well as 20 supported housing flats for people living with visual impairment.

The new sensory garden features many fragrant plants and flowers, as well as textural plants which are designed to be touched.  In addition, there is a pond with running water, several benches, and an enveloping arbour.

The garden was created by the NNAB’s in-house maintenance team, and was made possible through donations from the East of England Co-op and fundraising by relatives of former Thomas Tawell House resident Joan Baker, as well as the gift of plants from Taverham Garden Centre.

NNAB chief executive Gina Dormer said, “For visually-impaired people, stimulating their other senses is so important, so this sensory garden will be very much appreciated by our residents and visitors.

“It has taken 18 months of fundraising and hard work by our maintenance team to create this fabulous garden, but that effort will give people here many years of pleasure.”

Thomas Tawell House provides accommodation and care for up to 35 visually impaired people who need support to live independently.  The neighbouring Hammond Court complex offers 20 purpose-built flats, allowing visually-impaired people to live independently in the knowledge that wardens and specialist help is close by.