In Impact Stories, The environment & public spaces, Wycombe

Project: A sense of change sensory garden
Grant: £5,000
Fund: #iwill

This grant was used to fund a therapeutic gardener to work with Special Educational Needs students aged between 17 and 25 years and their carers to create a sensory garden on a small corner of the Wycombe museum garden. The young people who took part are mainly non-verbal with high levels of need.

The project was an excellent partnership between Macintyre Life Skills students and carers, museum staff, museum volunteers and the therapeutic gardener from Mind Over Matter.

The corner of the garden used for the sensory area had previously attracted drug addicts and anti-social behaviour. However, the space is now a lovely seating area and planted space that is mentioned regularly on the Museum’s Facebook page by visitors. The garden is also used weekly as part of the museum’s Forest School and Tiny Tots Storytime Trail.

Case study

One of the young people who took part in the project enjoyed it so much that he told his family all about what he was doing. As a result he has changed some of his home activities and has created a small space in the garden at home and now grows vegetables with his family. His mother commented on how important the project was for him and his brother and that he can now use simple words to describe gardening such as ‘digging’ or ‘sweeping’.

Garden being opened by Mayor of High Wycombe

The garden was officially opened by Cllr Mazamal Hussain, Mayor of High Wycombe