The first of the two new gardens is a dementia care garden, which aims to use colour, scent and visual stimulation to evoke memories. It will recreate a residential street from the post-war era, complete with period shop fronts Victorian street lamps and a genuine 1960s mini that will be familiar to the majority of patients.
It has been proven that dementia patients respond positively when given free access to outdoor areas. Agitation and aggression is reduced and there is an increase in memory recall.
The second garden is aimed at those patients recovering from a stroke. It is based on a Japanese design and will provide a tranquil haven for patients for whom the noise of a busy ward can be overwhelming, as well as a quiet place for family and friends to visit.
The £10,000 Masonic grant means that the Chase Farm Charity has raised most of the £120,000 needed to complete the garden project, with only the final £10,000 left to be found. The appeal for the project began at the end of 2015.
The gardens are accessible from the dementia care and stroke rehabilitation wards and will be used by more than two hundred patients every year, along with hundreds more visiting family and friends.
Alison Kira, head of project development at Chase Farm Charity , said:
“We are very grateful for this generous grant from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which brings us very close to completing this exciting project. Hundreds of patients and their families will benefit every year.”
Trevor Koschalka from London Freemasons said:
“I am very pleased that we are able to support the construction of these wonderful gardens. It’s a hugely imaginative scheme that will do a lot to aid the recovery of many very vulnerable people.”