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30th Oct 2019
Tenants at the opening of the new sensory garden at Oakes Court

Tenants living at a housing with care scheme in Downham Market, including many living with dementia, can now enjoy and relax in a new sensory garden, thanks to the hard work of the Estate Services team at Broadland Housing.

The new garden, at Oakes Court in Palmer way in the town, was designed by John Bream and Wayne Woolton from the housing association to provide plenty of colour, texture and smells, with the residents of the scheme’s dementia care ward specifically in mind.

The sensory garden has four main themes to make best use of the space, and includes a herb garden which features mint, thyme, rosemary, sage and strawberries.

The garden also had a strong environmental theme. Many of the existing garden ornaments have been lovingly refurbished. Other elements of the design have re-used or repurposed materials that would otherwise have been thrown away, such as the brick paving in the herb garden and the colourful homemade ornaments.

Stephani Davis, head of housing at Broadland Housing, said, “Many of our tenants at Oakes Court have sight issues or dementia.  This new garden provides a beautiful, calming environment for tenants and staff to use.  It’s a great project that has been completely initiated and designed by our Estate Services team.  All the work has been done in-house.”

At the unveiling of the new garden, Oakes Court tenants Gwen and Stella said, ““We are really looking forward to being able to sit outside in the garden and feel and smell all the lovely new plants!”

Maxine Artiss, NorseCare scheme manager, added, “Thank you to all the Broadland team on behalf of the tenants and NorseCare.  It means so much that you have created this lovely new space for tenants.  We’re looking forward to spending lots of time out there.”

Oakes Court is a comfortable and homely extra care accommodation, where residents have all their personal needs supported at the same time as having an independent lifestyle respected.  There is also a dedicated extra care unit at the scheme for people living with dementia.

Run by NorseCare, the scheme consists of 40 one-bedroom flats, with care staff on site 24/7, and a range of facilities including a restaurant, library, café-bar and hairdressers.  Residents live under a tenancy agreement with Broadland Housing.