£38k sensory garden transformation welcomed

Consultant psychiatrist C J Amarasuriya who officially opened the new facilities with community worker Pat Sprintall and centre users Neil Fishwick and Michael Llandreth (right

Consultant psychiatrist C J Amarasuriya who officially opened the new facilities with community worker Pat Sprintall and centre users Neil Fishwick and Michael Llandreth (right

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A CENTRE which helps adults with learning difficulties has benefited from the creation of a £38,000 sensory garden.

Users of the Warren Road Day Centre, in Hartlepool, can now enjoy the garden, as well as major revamps of the centre’s light and sound room and spa pool.

The transformation was the idea of centre users and staff who are members of the centre’s Friends of the Sunflower Lounge organising committee and has been paid for through charity grants, private donations and fundraising events.

The new sensory garden has turned an overgrown area in the building’s central quadrangle into a haven of tranquillity.

There are raised planting beds for herbs and scented flowers, the sound of trickling water from a fountain, a gazebo and seating, plus a large panel decorated with the handprints of the centre users.

Inside the centre, the hydrotherapy pool has been renamed the Eden Spa and has been renovated and redecorated with a Buddhist theme, symbolising contemplation and serenity.

Spare changing room space near the spa has been turned into an area for relaxation massages and therapies.

The centre already had a sound and light therapy room but now it has been substantially enhanced to include fibre-optic lighting, a bubble tube and a sound system providing a musical accompaniment.

There is also a large cinema screen for film screenings, with surround sound and Wii connections.

A £7,000 donation to kick start the project came from Hartlepool businessmen Harry Peek, Steve Winspear, Paul Wilson, Dave Garside and the late Jeff Leighton.And £20,000 came from the Hartlepool Partners community group with £5,000 coming from the Big Lottery Fund.