Blooming marvellous recognition for care facility

Luxury assisted living facility, The Grange, near Chorley, has received a special award for a recent garden makeover project as part of a gardens in bloom competition run across the north.

Based in the award-winning Buckshaw Retirement village, The Grange took part in the Hica in Bloom competition, designed to maintain and support resident care and wellbeing.

Hica Group, a not-for-profit charitable organisation, manages Buckshaw Retirement Village and runs a gardens in bloom competition annual, inviting all its 19 care homes and two retirement villages across the North of England to take part.

The competition is used to support residents - from the old to those suffering from dementia and those with learning difficulties - by involving them in active projects, encouraging them to voice their opinion, make decisions, be creative, and enjoy the outdoors while also encouraging new achievements.

The creative team of staff and residents at The Grange designed an eco-friendly sensory garden, made from mainly recycled materials. The flower beds, vegetable and herb gardens were raised, making the garden more accessible for older residents. A plastic path was placed ensuring wheelchair users could easily explore the area. A recycled seating area was also brought in to provide residents and their guests an area to relax in the garden.

Phil Hill, director of business development at Buckshaw Retirement Village said: “We are delighted to have gained a special mention in the The Hica in Bloom competition. Like the other participants, the staff and residents spent all summer working in the gardens and transforming it into a place that all of the residents and guests can enjoy.

“The Hica in Bloom project provides an active way of maintaining both physical health and mental wellbeing for residents, as well as helping to ease the symptoms of dementia for some residents by giving us all a positive focus. We have noticed a change in behaviour throughout the project, residents with dementia have been very content and calm whilst helping.”

Winners and runners up were given their trophies and accolades at the company’s Shine Ball, which brings together hundreds of staff and residents every year to celebrate their achievements.

Penni Brown, chief executive of Hica Group said: “The Hica in Bloom competition is always a fantastic event. Each home really shows their enthusiasm and creativity and staff do their very best to design and develop an enjoyable space for residents.

“The calibre of entries this year was fantastic, creating not only beautiful gardens but also sensory areas and interactive activities which support the needs of our residents. The Grange completed a fantastic project which will now impact the residents by providing them more opportunities to become involved in activities which support their health and wellbeing.”

The Hica Group introduced the Hica in Bloom competition three years ago, and has seen the event grow each year. Participating homes are given a £250 donation from the care operators Shine Fund, and are encouraged to fundraise to collect more money to spend on their garden project.

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