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24 May 2022

€1million in funding allocated to 65 sensory garden projects for people with disabilities

€1million in funding allocated to 65 sensory garden projects for people with disabilities

€1million in funding allocated to 65 sensory garden projects for people with disabilities

Funding worth €1million has been ringfenced to develop sixty five sensory gardens for people with disabilities across Ireland.

Plants and materials chosen for sensory gardens stimulate the senses of sight, smell, touch, taste and sound, and while popular with the entire community they are particularly beneficial to individuals with disabilities. 

A call for applications for funding went live in October, with grants ranging from €1,500 to over €80,000. 

The news was announced today by Minister of State for Disabilities, Anne Rabbitte, who said she was "delighted" to announce the successful applications. 

She said, "One of the great benefits for me as Minister for Disabilities has been to see first-hand the positive impact of initiatives like this, where one can experience the textures, smells and sounds of gardens that greatly enhance an entire community.

"During some of my visits to Disability Services, I have seen very good examples of sensory gardens and this funding can help increase the number of such projects around the country." 

The highest single funding amounts of €84,292, €65,000 and €61,000 respectively were allocated to Killarney Residential Respite in Kerry, Ballina Sensory Park in Mayo, and Fairview Campus at Gheel Autism Services in Dublin. 

Minister Rabbitte continued: "I’m very excited to see that some of the attached initiatives will include people with disabilities being involved in the design and build of their sensory garden, bringing to life the horticultural skills they have developed in day and residential services." 

The minister hopes to run a second round of applications in 2022. 

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