A new community garden tailored for those living with dementia has opened near Larne’s promenade.
This project is part of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s ‘Local Authority Action Plan’ which is funded by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).
The Dementia Community Garden, just outside the leisure centre, has been brought to life by a cross-community group of local people who created this welcoming shared space to be used by everyone.
The garden will host a number of gardening workshops and will be looked after by a trained group of green-fingered volunteers.
The garden’s designers, Out There Services, are fully dementia friendly trained and have planted rosemary, known for aiding memory, and used colours and textures that make it easier for people with dementia to differentiate areas of the garden.
Dementia Champion for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Ald Gerardine Mulvenna, said: “This garden offers a safe and shared space for people living with dementia, and their carers to enjoy.
“It’s great to see that Larne is truly living up to its awarded title of ‘Dementia Friendly Town of the Year’ by leading the way to an all-inclusive society.
“Council is fully committed to ensuring our older generations are welcomed, supported and respected.
“With an ageing population, our community plan outlines ways to ensure that services reflect this and this initiative is truly putting people first by educating everyone about dementia.
“Peace IV funding is being used by the council to deliver programmes across the borough which bring the whole community together in positive and sustainable ways.
“Council worked with the group behind the garden as well as people living with dementia, The Alzheimer’s Society and the Prom Friendship Group.
“We’re really pleased to be involved in this initiative and wish it all the success in the future.”
A dementia-friendly community is a city, town or village where people with dementia are understood, respected and supported.
In a dementia-friendly community people will be aware of and understand dementia, so that people with dementia can continue to live in the way they want to and in the community they choose.
Council is already running workshops for businesses in Larne and Carrickfergus, with the intention of expanding to Ballymena next year.
To date over 270 people from more than 100 businesses and organisations have attended dementia-friendly training workshops.
There are over 350 dementia friendly communities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
An official launch event for the community garden will take place in the spring with details to be revealed in the New Year.