Sanctuary for the senses at Birmingham school

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22nd June 2022


A group picture of staff and students from Priestly Smith Specialist School

A new sensory garden for children who are visually impaired has been specially created at a Birmingham school.

Housing provider Sanctuary funded the transformation of a previously unused plot within the grounds of Priestley Smith Specialist School in Kingstanding.  

The bespoke area is filled with enticing sounds, scents and textures, designed to stimulate the senses and provide a relaxing outdoor experience for the children, who are aged between two and 18.

The garden, designed by BM3 Landscape, includes a path wide enough for wheelchair users and people walking side-by-side, and raised beds blooming with colourful plants, fruit trees, lavender, shrubs and herbs.

Sanctuary, which has delivered a £4m redevelopment of 22 affordable homes nearby, worked with regeneration and energy experts EQUANS to bring the project to life though its MORE! programme.

An image showing people planting with a student.

Catherine Davies, Sanctuary’s project manager, said: “The garden has been a great success and the reaction from the children has really brought home how important it is to support the communities we work in.

“It’s wonderful that the children will gain different experiences outside of the classroom and home environment and learn how to grow their own herbs and vegetables.”

An image showing a student at the school holding two plants.

Lee Stoneystreet, regional director at EQUANS, commented: “We are proud to have helped to create this sensory garden which will provide a whole new learning experience for pupils at the school.

“The project is a great example of our commitment to making a difference to the communities we work in, and I know the students will enjoy their new space for years to come”.

Schoolteacher Alison Hannington added: “The consideration for the needs of our pupils has been second to none. We are incredibly grateful to everyone involved and we are delighted with our new sensory garden.”