Potter, plant and grow at St Clare Hospice’s dementia-friendly gardening club

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Published on: Tuesday 13 Feb 2024 at 11:43

St Clare Hospice has launched a new weekly gardening group for people with dementia to enjoy the many therapeutic benefits that can be gained from connecting with nature. 

The dementia-friendly sessions aim to support people to live well with the degenerative condition, giving them the opportunity to enjoy the physical, social and emotional benefits of gardening and nature-related craft activities.

Taking part in digging, planting, weeding, watering and other practical gardening activities out in the fresh air can help enhance wellbeing as well as give people with dementia a sense of purpose while they potter, plant and grow.

Fiona Venus, St Clare’s Compassionate Communities programme manager, said: “Gardening is a wonderful, therapeutic activity for people with dementia, helping them to socialise and connect with others through a shared experience while taking part in a physical activity that sparks the senses, conversation and memories, all of which can greatly improve their wellbeing.

“The variety of experiences that gardening and nature can offer are almost endless and we hope that those who have previously enjoyed it as a hobby will enjoy the feel of soil through their fingers once again, while those who are new to gardening will feel a sense of joy and purpose as they explore the variety of sights, smells and textures that come with nurturing plants and watching them grow, or engaging in other nature-related tasks.”

The gardening club is held every Thursday morning between 10am and 12pm, either outdoors in the Hospice’s sensory garden or inside in the Community Space.

The club is run alongside St Clare’s Dementia Carers’ Café, meaning carers and relatives can come along and have a cup of tea or coffee while the gardening club meets, giving them the chance to take some time apart to relax and meet others in a similar situation while their loved ones are occupied in a safe and supervised activity.  

Spaces for the Dementia Friendly Gardening Club are limited, so booking is essential by contacting St Clare’s Community Engagement Team on 07534 031702 or namastecare@stclarehospice.org.uk. Alternatively, you can find more information here

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