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McCausland Officially Opens “The ‘Coole Garden”

Speaking at the official opening the Minister McCausland said: “I am pleased to have supported this community space project which aims to provide a place for inclusion, celebration, reflection and renewal. This project is an excellent example of statutory and community sector partnership to improve the local environment and image of communities. The garden enhances the local area, making it a more attractive place to live and work in.

“This project supports my Department’s strategic objectives of community, social and physical renewal. These objectives aim to improve the quality of life for people in some of our most deprived neighbourhoods. They help to increase social inclusion, voluntary activity, contribute towards healthier lifestyles and aid community development.

“I welcome the opportunity of seeing the completion of the garden and talking first hand with members of the community about the benefits this neighbourhood renewal funding has brought.”

The sensory garden is based at the back of Inniscoole Day Centre and will be open to members of the public Monday – Friday 9-6pm from June 2013. The project provides an opportunity to support school / community intergenerational activities, a priority need within the local Rathcoole Neighbourhood Action Plan. The garden contains visual and sensory elements, including seating for meditation, wind chimes/mobiles and a water feature. It will also be used as an educational tool for schools and community groups and will have a community gardening group responsible for the seasonal planting of the garden.

Mayor of Newtownabbey Fraser Agnew welcomed the funding provided from both Newtownabbey Borough Council and the Department for Social Development for this worthwhile project. He commented: “Projects which turn unused land into an environmental friendly open space for all sections of the community to participate in, whilst also addressing health inequalities, has to be applauded. I hope the garden will build upon good relations and community cohesion in the area by providing a social hub for the community.”

Una Cunning, Director Primary and Community Care for Older People's Services said, "I would like to thank the Northern Ireland Executive through the Department of Social Development's Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy for providing the funding to make this garden possible. The sensory garden will provide our clients with an enjoyable place to visit and they will also benefit greatly from looking after the garden many of whom may not have had the chance to do this before."

If you would like to become involved in the gardening group or would like further information on the community sensory garden please contact: Inniscoole Day Centre 028 90 854333 or Sara Barkley, Rathcoole Neighbourhood Renewal Co-ordinator (028) 90 340197.

Source: HortiTrends News Room