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Rosemary Court opens sensory garden with celebratory tea party

Rosemary Court opens sensory garden with celebratory tea party
14 September 2023

Residents and staff at one of our extra-care housing schemes are hosting a special cream tea celebration to thank supporters and volunteers who helped create a new sensory garden.

A whole host of partners, supporters and volunteers joined forces to transform an area of the grounds within Rosemary Court into a colourful outdoor space with lots of fragrant plants for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Our Housing Services team awarded £1,000 from its Community Engagement Fund to support the project. Having established a good community partnership with Eastbourne Hub, it kindly donated a new shed, while some old tyres were painted and turned into created garden features by volunteers from the Hub, tenants from Havelock Centre and Humankind members.

Some railway-themed items were donated along with a large wicker sheep. The Head of Steam Railway Museum also donated £500 which is to be used to create some external artwork, currently in the planning stage.

Our Street Scene staff carried out groundwork ready for planting and staff at ABL Decking and Fencing, in Darlington, donated their time to construct the shed, while volunteers from Eastbourne Hub and the local community helped with planting.

Pupils from nearby St John’s Church of England School have been asked to take part in a competition to design a mural for the outside wall to act as a colourful backdrop to the sensory garden.

Carol Coates and Liz Hughes, scheme managers at Rosemary Court, have coordinated the project. Carol explained: “There’s a few finishing touches to be made, but we wanted to invite all those involved to join us for a cream tea in the garden to celebrate and to thank everyone for their help.”

The Mayor of Darlington Cllr Jan Cossins will be at the event to meet residents and the volunteers. She said: “It’s great to see how local community groups, businesses and individuals have come together to create this great outdoor space for our residents in Rosemary Court.

“Being able to enjoy the outdoors is important at any age and the new sensory garden will, I’m sure, be a popular spot for residents and visitors to enjoy and I’d like to add my thanks to all those who have helped in its creation.”

The cream tea celebration event will take place at Rosemary Court, in Blackton Grove, on Friday 22 September, 1.30-4pm. Local residents are invited to join in the fun which will include cream scones and refreshments and entertainment from the Twilight Duo, with songs from the 1940s onwards.

The Community Engagement Fund aims to support tenant-led activities and projects that make a difference to the community and help promote social, environmental and economic wellbeing. To find out more and how to apply go to


Photo caption: A few finishing touches are to be added to the new sensory garden at Rosemary Court ahead of its cream tea celebration.


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