Located outside St Bernard’s Dementia Club on Cheyne Street, the newly refurbished space for use by clients of the charity LifeCare was opened by Edinburgh’s Lord Provost, Frank Ross. The garden has been created thanks to funding from Ryden, with headquarters in Edinburgh.
Designed as an inviting space to enrich the lives of those living with dementia – for some quiet relaxation away from the hustle and bustle of Stockbridge High Street or as a place to socialise with others – LifeCare’s small garden also features a vegetable patch aimed at empowering their clients to stay active through gardening.
A plaque marking the occasion was unveiled by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh at an afternoon tea celebration with LifeCare staff and volunteers.
Commenting, Lord Provost Frank Ross, said: “On behalf of all citizens of Edinburgh, it is a pleasure to open this beautiful new garden in the heart of leafy Stockbridge. Edinburgh is a friendly, inclusive and welcoming city, but critically it is also a caring city – we care deeply about our people and our wellbeing, and about helping each other to live the happiest and healthiest lives we can.
“LifeCare is an inspiring charity which empowers our seniors to achieve what they can, as best they can, and it is clear to me that this garden and overall space has been carefully thought out. Congratulations to everyone from across the public, private and third sectors who have worked together to make this happen.”
Su Millar, Chief Executive, LifeCare Edinburgh, said: “The St Bernard’s garden might be tiny but it is a special place tucked away on a corner site in an urban setting, and is loved by our St. Bernard’s clients and all who pass by.
“Celebrating its opening in Dementia Action Week highlights that people living with dementia can enjoy such daily pleasures in a garden: as watering the vegetable patch, and attending to the raised flower beds. The garden encourages our clients to spend more time outdoors, and supports their physical and mental well being.
“We are thrilled that Ryden, our charity partner, has supported our garden project, and delighted that this outdoor space supports our vision to develop dementia friendly spaces, for everyone to enjoy.”
Marc Giles, Partner at Ryden, added: “We are delighted to have supported the development of the LifeCare dementia garden, which we hope will have a really positive impact on the lives of those who can use this facility. All of those from Ryden directly involved with this project genuinely enjoyed the experience and we look forward to maintaining our relationship with LifeCare and helping to deliver many more positive initiatives.”
A carer at St Bernard’s club said: “A lot of work and commitment that has been spent on a very worthwhile project. The garden which is already in bloom and smelling lovely, will bring much pleasure to many people now and in the future.”