The ongoing work on the ‘interactive garden’ at the front of Drybridge House received a welcome boost from a stranger this week. Paula Jones, our Disability & Inclusion project manager explains all about the garden, its purpose and the random act of kindness that bought such joy to Bridges staff this week.
“The Disability & Inclusion Projects’ interactive, eco-friendly garden designed and established in collaboration with Bridges staff, project members, community volunteers and the Ogi team based at Drybridge House.
The interactive garden idea came about following a conversation between the Disability & Inclusion Project Manager and the volunteer gardeners at Drybridge House about a small piece of land which was unloved and unused. The area wasn’t much use as a garden area due to being restricted to plant growth because of the shade caused by two large trees. It had therefore been taken over by weeds which the gardeners, having spent a lot of time and hard work battling against, had pretty much conceded victory to.
The Disability & Inclusion team are constantly looking for ideas and projects which enable their members to feel part of a close and inclusive community and the opportunity to use this unloved piece of land for the good of the projects sparked the birth of an idea.
The plan was to make the land a usable area for project members and the wider community in order to have a space which they could use but also feel involved, valued and included in. The D&I members (age 6+) struggle with various disabling conditions (both physical and mental) and charity funding allowed us to liaise with our members in putting together a plan of how they would like to use this space.
They said that they would like it to be somewhere calm to sit and relax when the world seemed a bit overwhelming, they wanted it to be eco-friendly knowing that they have used Mother Nature’s best rather than taking away from the planet’s resources and they wanted it to be a place for users to be able to play interactive games which would be accessible for those with disabilities as well as those without.
Bridges staff and their families, project members, volunteers and the Ogi team used this information, rolled up their sleeves and got involved in digging, moving, laying and lifting heavy things! The project is still very much a work in progress but the plan is, once the landscaping is complete, for it to be ever evolving and, just like a river, be ever flowing, hopefully always there as a place of calm, peace and solitude and act as a symbol of a strong, valued and inclusive community.
The Project Manager found two large pebbles in the virtual river bed this week which had been painted exquisitely with pictures of a fish and a frog and placed in the virtual stream…..it was as if an anonymous true life secret Santa had actually paid a visit to Drybridge House and left a gift for the community to enjoy…..could there be anything more magical and uplifting???
Please “sit and smile a while” under the shade of the trees and enjoy the virtual stream, solar lights, butterfly houses, bird feeders, interactive games and art and craft work added by our members.
Please come and see it, use it, be involved in it or, if you’d like to discuss anything further regarding this or the other projects that we deliver please contact…..”
Disability & Inclusion Project Manager
NP25 5AS | Tel: 07765 272838