People with learning difficulties and complex health needs living in a Frinton-on-Sea residential home are looking forward to enjoying a fragrant new sensory garden in the grounds of their home this summer, thanks to a gift from the family of a former house-mate.
Delia Nassim was so impressed with the support and care her brother William Glasgow received from the team at Arundel House in the 18 months he lived there before passing away last December, that, on behalf of his family, she has promised to fund the development of a sensory garden in the grounds of the home for the enjoyment of other service users.
Mrs Nassim said: “William was really well looked after by Pat Ward and her team, and we wanted to show our appreciation for the care he received at Arundel House in a way that would be of lasting benefit to everyone there.
“Several of the residents had been his companions and friends for many years, along with a number of the professionals who cared for him, and we would like to think that the planned garden will be a fitting and happy way for them and everybody at Arundel House to remember William.
“He lived at Arundel for nearly 18 months, but before then had spent a whole decade being supported by Regard which runs the service. He had a variety of complex health needs which they met admirably, and I always felt the staff made great efforts to find ways to enable him to live life to the full.”
Pat Ward, who manages Arundel House, said: “We all miss William very much and were so sad to lose him before Christmas.
“I’m incredibly proud of my team who did a fantastic job, coping with some very complicated health issues and always ensuring that he received the very best care possible.
“When William’s sister said that the family wanted to fund the development of a sensory garden as a way of saying ‘thank you’ we were all delighted.
“It will be a lovely way to remember William, and the people who live with us will really enjoy spending time outside in a tranquil space which caters for their specific needs.”
Staff are hoping that work on the new garden will be able to begin when the weather improves in the spring, so that it will be ready for the people who live at Arundel House to start to enjoy in the summer.
Pat Ward said: “Some of our residents would enjoy the opportunity to be involved in the planting of the new garden, and with ongoing maintenance, so this is another welcome aspect of the new garden.”
Most of those who live at Arundel House have enduring health needs, including some with the early onset dementia often associated with a learning disability.
However Pat and her team are passionate about supporting their service users to live life to the full, and they regularly support them on outings to local drop-in centres, day services, libraries and the pub, as well as lunches out and coffee mornings.
Meanwhile at home everyone is encouraged to be involved in the way Arundel House is run, through weekly menu-planning meetings, monthly residents’ meetings and involvement in regular health and safety committee meetings.