181 Mortimer Road NW10 5TN London info@eldersvoice.org.uk 0208 968 8170

New dementia garden for Kensal Green

From left to right: Chris Hodge (Director of Shackadelic), Lucie Sporle and Gary Williams.

Our charity has been awarded a donation from the Morrisons Foundation to start creating a dementia garden in Kensal Green. Work will start in autumn, so that older people using the charity’s services can enjoy spring and summer outdoors.

Karolina Januszek, Operations Director at Elders Voice applied to Morrisons Foundation for a small grant after a number of clients who attend Elders Voice Day Centre had expressed their desire to do some gardening. “A vast number of our clients have sundown syndrome, which is a neurological phenomenon associated with increased confusion and restlessness in people with dementia. My main motivator for this project were the people whom we work with. I wanted to give them the tools and the space to get busy and do something that resonated for them in the past – gardening” says Karolina.

It turned out that one gentlemen who attends our Day Centre on Thursday was a gardener. His sundown syndrome makes him confused and wanting to leave the Day Centre in the early hours of the afternoon. While taking a walk with that client, he told Karolina about plants and when to cut them and how to care for them in general. At that point it became apparent, that this client would hugely benefit from having a safe space to go out to and do some gardening work in. And that’s how the dementia garden project came alive.Elders Voice has managed to involve two student volunteers – Gary who is a retired GP and currently studying for a diploma in gardening, and Lucie, also a gardening student. The third volunteer, Chris, owns a local gardening company Shackadelic. All three of them will be volunteering their time and working towards creating a beautiful and stimulating dementia friendly garden in Brent.

“We still have a long way to go, but the involvement of Lucie, Chris and Gary is priceless. I am really happy to see people willing to share their skills for such a great cause. I hope it will be a great motivator for many.”

This is just the first part of this project, as the charity is planning to apply for more funding to be able to develop the dementia garden further and reach more older people in Brent. Volunteers willing to join and be a part of this project are encouraged to contact Karolina on 0208 206 7509 or email karolinaj@eldersvoice.org.uk.

The Morrisons Foundation was set up by Morrisons supermarkets in 2015 and awards grants for charity projects which help to improve people’s lives. Since launching, over £20 million has been donated to hundreds of charities across England, Scotland and Wales. Charities are encouraged to visit www.morrisonsfoundation.com to find out how to apply for funding.

Further information can be obtained from the charity’s office: 181 Mortimer Road, London, NW10 5TN, by calling: 0208 968 8170 or visiting www.eldersvoice.org.uk.