Prince’s Trust team develops sensory garden for Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice

A sensory garden has been provided at Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice in Normanby thanks to eight young people who are taking part in a youth programme run by Cleveland Fire Brigade.

The Prince’s Trust Team Programme runs for 12 weeks in the Redcar and Cleveland area, and is designed to engage young people aged 16 – 24, helping to develop key skills such as leadership, team working, problem solving and discipline as well as providing an insight into community safety and citizenship. People are referred to the course through local organisations such as Connexions, Job Centre Plus and Youth Intervention Services.

This group raised almost £300 themselves to develop the sensory garden at Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice, Normanby, which accommodates babies who have terminal or life limiting illnesses, special and complex needs to varying degrees. The team have designed, planned and installed the sensory garden themselves over the last three weeks.

Their work included generally tidying up the whole garden so that it can be used, building raised flower beds, assisting with laying a path, erecting an archway, planting and general clearing. The team also fixed and renovated a broken water feature.
Abby Burton, Princes Trust Team Leader said: “The team worked really hard to make a beautiful sensory garden for the kids and families involved with Zoe’s Place to spend time in, we hope they enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it! The skills and experience they have gained from this will help them complete their Prince’s Trust Team qualification, and has also given them an opportunity to do something for their local community.

“I would also like to thank Longbeck Nurseries in Marske for donating plants, to Arcadia and Cherry Hill Nurseries for giving us staff discount off plants and garden equipment and to Garry Walker from Redcar Blue Watch, who gave up two days of his time to come and lend us some paving expertise.”

The current students are halfway through their course so have six weeks left. This will involve a work placement, future planning, a team challenge working with a local community group, and a final presentation to which all their friends and family will be invited.

Abby added: “The Prince’s Trust Team programme is a great opportunity for people to learn new skills and work as a team, and everyone on the course has found it thoroughly rewarding. The next 12-week course begins in January and is open to young people in the Redcar & Cleveland area aged 16-25. If you are interested, please contact me at aburton@clevelandfire.gov.uk.”