The Upper Glanmire Community Council have plans to make excellent use of some waste ground behind their Sports Hall. The ground, which is roughly 30m and 20m in area, will be transformed into a wheelchair accessible, Sensory Garden Space. Sensory Gardens benefit the entire community, and also contribute to some of the stimulatory needs enjoyed by children on the autism spectrum. The positives aspects include a range of features which activate and appease the senses. Various textures such as sand, stones, grass and wood, smells from different types of flowers and plants, sounds from wind chimes or windmills, are all sensory stimulates which have been shown to have positive effects on people with autism.
The creation and maintenance of Sensory Gardens also promote a sense of community and responsibility. They encourage physical activity, however small, and encourage social interaction among local community groups. Speaking with the Community Council PRO, Rob Kenny, he said, “So far there has been great interest, enthusiasm and goodwill towards news of the garden. The committee is looking to improve our facilities and create as much inclusivity around them as possible. We will be liaising with local groups, and have already spoken with the Principal at the local Primary School about ideas for the space. To date, we have a fluid plan in place and have begun some ground work in the area. It will be great to see the garden begin to take shape in the coming weeks.”