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New garden at Ipswich home

PUBLISHED: 00:59 04 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:34 03 March 2010

TENANTS of The Hawthorns residential home are today making the most of the summer sun after a new £2,000 garden was opened for them.

The new garden, situated behind the home, on Waterloo Road, Ipswich, has taken four months to complete and includes a summer house, a barbeque, two sheds and a parasol with chairs.

TENANTS of The Hawthorns residential home are today making the most of the summer sun after a new £2,000 garden was opened for them.

The new garden, situated behind the home, on Waterloo Road, Ipswich, has taken four months to complete and includes a summer house, a barbeque, two sheds and a parasol with chairs.

The nine tenants of the home, who have varying degrees of mental illness, have been given the task of maintaining a vegetable patch and also looking after two free-range chickens. Along with the staff, they were also responsible for carrying out much of the work undertaken in the garden.

Service manager Julie Mayhew said all the staff had identified the garden an area of great potential that needed development.

She said: "The garden was in need of some attention. It wasn't being used to its full potential to the benefit of the tenants.

"Our aim as a team was to develop the garden to provide a therapeutic environment where they can get away from everything. The tenants can also take their visitors in there and have some peace."

Fundraising for the garden began in January this year and was raised through a combination of corporate sponsorship and sponsored activities, undertaken by the staff and tenants. These included a women's driving challenge, undertaken by staff, and a sponsored walk, undertaken by residents.

They also attracted sponsorship from SGR fm, the Voluntary Service Development Association and the Ipswich branch of Siemans.

Ms Mayhew said: "You do not always get to hear the better side of mental health care and it is nice to break down the stigma attached to mental health patients."

WEB LINK

www.richmondfellowship.org.uk

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