We use cookies to provide you with the best possible online experience. Read more

Sensory garden opens for Hunter people with brain injuries

A new and important addition to the Hunter's only respite centre for people with acquired brain injury has opened using funding from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation.

Tuesday, 19 September, 2017

A $44,000 grant from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation has enabled the creation of a new sensory garden that will enhance the experience for clients of I Am Here's respite house in Elermore Vale.

As the Hunter’s only respite centre for people with an acquired brain injury (ABI), the I Am Here house offers respite accommodation for children and adults, catering to all mobility and disability levels in a safe, welcoming and professional setting.

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Chairman Phil Neat said the I Am Here house provided a unique getaway for people living with an ABI, and a vital occasional care option for regular carers who have the enormous and often stressful task looking after someone with an ABI.

"The house is a home away from home for almost 50 Hunter residents, providing a warm environment, tailored to their needs, and giving them and their carers a much-needed break from their everyday routine," he said.

"The Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation is proud to support the provision of such an important service in the Hunter, and we hope the sensory garden will provide even more enjoyment and inspiration to people during their stays in the I Am Here house."

A group of representatives from I Am Here and Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation

"Stimulating sensory experiences are vital to the well-being of people with an ABl, and our new sensory garden provides an interactive space featuring accessible pathways, raised garden beds and installations designed to engage all of the senses."

I Am Here General Manager Ingrid Airlie

I Am Here General Manager Ingrid Airlie said the garden was an important part of the respite experience for visitors to the house.

"Stimulating sensory experiences are vital to the well-being of people with an ABl, and our new sensory garden provides an interactive space featuring accessible pathways, raised garden beds and installations designed to engage all of the senses," she said.

"We’re grateful that Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation saw the value of the sensory garden to our clients. The Foundation’s grant ignited community support for the garden, which will go so far in helping to improve the health and well-being of our clients by increasing their outdoor recreational activities and sensory opportunities."

Options for respite care for people with an acquired brain injury, who have unique needs, are extremely limited. I Am Here is the only local organisation providing respite care specifically for people with an ABI. 

The Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation distributes more than $1.5 million in grants each year to facilitate charitable projects that address disadvantage in local communities throughout the Hunter, Central West, Central Coast, New England, Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers regions of NSW. Since its establishment in 2003, the Foundation has provided more than $16.7 million to over 400 community initiatives.

Other news