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People with learning disabilities given opportunity to design garden

A £15,000 grant awarded to a learning disability service in Flintshire is set to transform its outdoor space and encourage people to come together and enjoy the great outdoors.

Hwb Cyfle, a day opportunities service in Deeside run by national learning disability charity Hft, has been awarded the money from Postcode Local Trust, to develop a garden project that will enhance the lives of the people it supports.

The grant will provide people with learning disabilities with the opportunity to design, create and maintain the unique space. Once built, the garden will become a multipurpose natural area where people supported at the service can enjoy sensory stimulation and get closer to nature.

As well as building skills and supporting learning for people with disabilities, the garden will be opened up to members of the community, local primary schools and volunteer-led gardening group Digging Deeside, who will maintain the area as part of their work with people with mental health conditions.

Additional funding for the initiative has been provided by celebrity hairdresser Andrew Collinge and haircare brand TIGI, who have lent their support by taking on a range of fundraising activities.

A spokesman for HfT said work is due to begin on the garden soon, with an aim to it being ready in time for spring. Specially designed features including wheelchair-accessible raised beds for growing plants and vegetables.

The garden will also incorporate aromatic and musical items designed to stimulate the senses and create a stress-free environment. Completing the new space will be a woodland area and an indoor garden classroom, where Hft staff plan to deliver a Healthy Living programme featuring classes focusing on mindfulness, yoga and achieving a balanced diet.

Jordan Smith, Regional Manager at Hft, said: ‘We’re delighted to be receiving this incredibly generous grant, which will create opportunities that will make a huge difference to the people we support at Hwb Cyfle.

‘Spending time outdoors is important to everyone, and we’re so excited to have a dedicated space where people with learning disabilities can enjoy some fresh air, learn valuable new skills and socialise.

We’ll also be working with the community to strengthen relationships and to support healthy living for all. Staff and people at Hwb Cyfle are already looking forward to picking up their spades and getting in touch with nature.’

Hft currently supports more than 2,500 people with learning disabilities across the country. This includes supporting people with learning disabilities to live independently in their own homes, providing employment services to help people develop skills and experience for work and helping people to pursue hobbies, make new friends and get involved in their local communities.

Photo Credit -HfT

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