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Community built Sensory Garden set to open in Solihull

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Bromford Support, a leading midlands support provider, is set to celebrate the unveiling of a brand new sensory garden at Tivoli Court, which provides supported accommodation to adults with learning difficulties.

Built by volunteers from Bromford Support as well as other major local businesses such as the NEC Group, the garden will be officially opened by the Mayor of Solihull Councillor Ken Hawkins at a garden party on Friday 17th August at 1pm.

Residents of Tivoli Court were also involved in the construction of the garden, which includes features designed to attract wildlife and create sound including bird baths, mirrors, seating areas, a vegetable patch, a green house to help grow plants and seeds, as well as textured floors and plant beds.

The garden project has enabled Bromford customers to shape their own community, with residents helping to choose the plants and features in the garden. They also took the chance to name the new garden, choosing to call it 'Tranquilo", meaning garden of peace.

The garden will offer customers the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the nearby town centre by sitting amongst the plants, experiencing the peaceful sounds to help them unwind and relax.  It will also provide the opportunity for residents to learn about creatures that can be found in the garden, and learning how to grow their own vegetables.

The garden party launch will also see senior representatives from the numerous organisations involved in bringing the project to fruition come together to celebrate the opening. Newlands Bishop Farm, part of Solihull Family Care Trust, contributed extensive man-hours to the project with further support provided by the NEC Group, Adecco, Sustain and even Shirley Police. Local MPs, Councilors, community members and residents will also be in attendance.

Helen Horsfall, Bromford Support Service Manager, has been looking to enhance the buildings grounds since it opened in 2010.  "When we opened Tivoli Court, I really saw the potential in patch of grass behind the development. I saw the space could have so many uses, especially for the customers we support, as there wasn't really anywhere for residents to relax outside.

"We applied to 'You Can', a charity run by Bromford, for some money to help us design and create a garden to enable customers to have that tranquil space to escape it all. We also wanted a way to attract more wild life into the garden and wanted to encourage residents to 'grow their own' so included a large vegetable patch and green." 

Helen believes the project wouldn't have been a success if it weren't for the support provided by many local businesses, who supported the project when bad weather caused delays. "Newlands Bishop Farm, a scheme that offers work placements for adults with learning disabilities, have been attending Tivoli Court every week working hard to develop and create the sensory garden.

"We started work in April but due to the bad weather it has taken longer than expected to complete.  We were forced to appeal for volunteers to come and help and we had a great response.  The NEC Group provided us with whole teams, and we also had help from Adecco in Solihull. Shirley Police were also involved and of course, many colleagues within Bromford gave up their tine to help with this project."

Helen Williams from Newlands Bishop Farm said they "are very pleased and proud to have been part of the development of this special garden and vegetable area."

She added, "the project volunteers from the farm also have learning disabilities themselves, and so have really enjoyed taking part in this project and contributing their time in helping to make the garden a great success."

Part of the Family Care Trust, the farm offers therapeutic and training opportunities for adults with learning disabilities.

The garden party is open to all community members and those involved in the development of the sensory garden.  Bromford Support will be serving refreshments for all attendees including cupcakes and Pimms.



A ribbon cutting will take place at 1pm with opportunities to meet and chat to residents, volunteers, civic leaders and local business leaders who have supported the project afterwards.

Photo Ops: Residents using the garden facilities, Ribbon cutting, volunteers with those who will benefit from the project.

Audio/ Interview Ops: Residents who have helped create the garden, those who will use it, key volunteers, Bromford Support colleagues and business leaders.

Video Ops: The garden party will be busy so as well as interviews and case studies, you'll get the chance to capture the residents enjoying themselves and experiencing the various features of the garden.

Please confirm you attendance with Jarrod Williams, Bromford Group Communications Officer, on 01902396824, or tweet @JarrodWilliams.



The garden will be open from 12pm, with the Mayor cutting a ribbon at 1pm.

The event is set to end at 4pm.


Confirmed Attending:

Civic party to include Mayor, Mayoress and a number of councilors including Cllr Hedley and Cllr Sleigh.

Brian Pell, NEC Venue Operations Director and NEC Group volunteers

Mick Kent, Bromford Group CEO

Representatives from Solihull Sustain

Family Care Trust

Newlands Bishop Farm and Volunteers

Adecco Recruitment Volunteers

Sue Rose (local ex-councilor)

Bromford Support Colleagues

Residents and their families.

Local community members and other volunteers.