Sensory garden a labour of love

Date: Friday 18th August 2017
QUIET SPACE: Those behind the sensory garden project are (left to right) Andrea Greenwood, general manager mental health services at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust; Chrissy Heeley, Westwood Landscapes; Sarah Kerr, staff member at the Hadrian Unit, Carleton Clinic; Jane Anderson; Coralin Pearson, garden designer; Mark Armstrong, CPFT estates lead; Mel Harrington, CPFT project support; Bruce Walker, Westwood Landscapes director; and Ross Arroll, also of Westwood Landscapes.
QUIET SPACE: Those behind the sensory garden project are (left to right) Andrea Greenwood, general manager mental health services at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust; Chrissy Heeley, Westwood Landscapes; Sarah Kerr, staff member at the Hadrian Unit, Carleton Clinic; Jane Anderson; Coralin Pearson, garden designer; Mark Armstrong, CPFT estates lead; Mel Harrington, CPFT project support; Bruce Walker, Westwood Landscapes director; and Ross Arroll, also of Westwood Landscapes.

A SENSORY garden for people with acute mental health issues has opened at Carleton Clinic in Carlisle.

Designed by former Newton Rigg student Coralin Pearson, it has been funded with money raised through events organised by Jane Anderson in memory of her late daughter, Lisa Bertoletti.

Jane, who lives just outside Carlisle, said: “Lisa suffered from mental health issues for many years until her death 2001. Since then I have made it my mission to raise awareness of mental health issues and try to give those who suffer and their carers as much help and support as I am able.

“It has been suggested that gardening can really help improve mental well-being and when I discovered there was a space at Carleton Clinic to develop a garden for such a purpose, I jumped at the opportunity to help.

“I think it is wonderful that all these years after her death Lisa is still helping people through this legacy.”

Coralin said: “It was absolutely vital that the design of this garden was developed in conjunction with those who would be using it.

“We have had regular meetings with patients about what they would like in the garden and how they would like it to look.

“We had to start from absolute scratch as it was all completely overgrown but we had a blank canvas to work with and we have been able to create the garden that we wanted. We have incorporated many elements including; a quiet area, a gentle activity area, raised beds as well as lots of fragrances, structures and textures to stimulate mental wellbeing.”

Andrea Greenwood, general manager for mental health services at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have worked really hard together to make sure that we have a safe place here for our patients, a place where they can spend time and a place that can be used as a functional part of their rehabilitation and treatment.”