Trek Balkans to improve Garden Accessibility
To enable access to our gardens and create an outdoor activities room.
Our Reality – Lots of Space, No Access
- Increasing social interaction, independence and connecting with nature.
Enjoying Outdoors with Disability
- There are many mental health benefits of being outdoors including the reduction of stress, assistance with mind decluttering and boosting mood.
- It’s important to understand why being disabled should not prevent anyone from getting outside to enjoy fresh air and outdoor activity i.e. resting and relaxing or reading a book under the shade of a tree.
- For someone with a physical disability, getting out and enjoying nature is more of a challenge. To do the kind of things that non-disabled people do without even thinking about it requires many more steps, as well as accessible gardens, and even adaptive equipment.
- Bird watching, photography and painting are all great activities for many disabled adults.
- Gardening is a healthy, stimulating activity that can be enjoyed by people of all abilities. Gardening equipment and tools can be modified to suit people with disabilities. Gardening is also a great physical activity.
- The conservation of our gardens, helping with the restoration of the natural environment and of wildlife will assist us in supporting our Eco Active commitments and help with the Governments Environmental plans 2030.
What is Needed and Why?
We need to have wheelchair accessibility to our gardens, to remove unnecessary barriers enabling the use of our gardens by residents. It is also important for us to have an outdoor sheltered area for activities.
Why is it needed – what are the benefits?
Researchers have found that there are important mental and physical health benefits to spending time outside, and the pandemic has helped highlight this need.
- Vitamin D: it’s hard to talk about the great benefits of being outdoors without mentioning the fact that you get a good dose of Vitamin D from the sun.
- Exercise: for residents who are mobile the increased activity level while walking, tending to the garden, etc. provides a wonderful, low impact and safe type of exercise.
- Stronger immune system: studies have shown that being outdoors increases our overall immune system.
- Better sleep: if you exercise during the day and increase your time in the fresh air.
- Mental and spiritual boost: it is easy to fall into a rut doing the same routines day in and day out. As a result, depression and anxiety can creep in without people even realising it.
What is Needed?
To provide easy and safe access to the back gardens at Jersey Cheshire Home that will accommodate people with a range of disabilities, we need to make some modifications when planning our garden, including:
- Building a bridge to enable access from the first floor to the garden and an activities chalet room.
- Raising garden beds to help people with physical restrictions, and to avoid bending and stooping.
- Providing tables that are wheelchair accessible where people can do potting and planting together.
- Providing retractable hanging baskets that can be pulled up and down so they are within easy reach. Use containers with wheels, which can be moved around easily to accessible positions and to catch the sunlight.
- Keeping paths smooth, non-slip, accessible and level.
- Having a water supply handy and placing plants together according to their water needs.
- Providing shade for working in the garden in summer.
- Providing outdoor sensory garden lighting and lighting in the chalet.
How can you support?
A contribution towards this project would ensure that we could start the process of improving accessibility to our gardens during 2022.
Jersey Cheshire Home
Eric Young House, Rope Walk, St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands, JE2 4UU