Growing opportunities for Norwood nursery

25 April 2012

A big thank you to Diane Frainer, Elaine Kerr, and to everybody who has put so much work into this. I am delighted to be here and to see the garden so wonderfully developed.

Children and young people who use Norwood’s Kennedy Leigh Family Centre in Hendon are being offered a feast for the senses thanks to a new inclusive sensory garden. The state-of-the-art play area was officially opened by the Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Lisa Rutter, this morning, and was attended by children at the nursery, their parents, and staff. The project was made possible by funding from the Borough of Barnet, Waitrose, and Lea’s Garden, along with money raised from parents.

The ‘Natural Garden’ has been designed for children who use the Centre, and provides learning opportunities for developing fine and gross motor skills, language development and an understanding of the growth process of food. It is particularly beneficial for children with a physical disability who are unable to walk, as the ground is dry all year round.

The newly developed space includes a ‘seated area’ for small group storytelling, a ‘grassland area’ with wooden structures including a multi-sensory effect beetle, a ‘woodland area’, and a ‘tepee area’, which provides a space where the children can hide, play, and develop their imaginative skills. The ‘allotment area’ allows each child to plant and grow their own vegetables which can then be used for cooking activities in the Nursery. The garden also includes a shed to provide storage for the children’s tools and equipment.

During a short ceremony, Elaine Kerr, Norwood’s Chief Executive, invited The Mayor to cut the ribbon before giving guests a tour of the new garden.

The Mayor said: "A big thank you to Diane Frainer, Elaine Kerr, and to everybody who has put so much work into this. I am delighted to be here and to see the garden so wonderfully developed."

Norwood’s Chief Executive Elaine Kerr said: "We are delighted that, thanks to the incredible generosity of all our funders, we are now able to offer such a beneficial and enjoyable experience through this new wonderfully equipped garden area."

"In this challenging economic climate, it is only through such outstanding support that we will be able to meet the increasing demand for new facilities and expand our life-changing opportunities for children and adults."

The garden will be used regularly by the Norwood Nursery, BINOH and Family Centre service users, such as families who attend the Together Group.