IMG_6181.JPGHICA Group residents and staff have been busy putting their horticultural skills to practice for the annual HICA in Bloom competition.

Each year over the summer months, Hica Group care homes go head to head to showcase the gardening skills of staff and residents.

Thirteen care homes entered the competition this year and after a four day judging process five finalists have been chosen.

This year Elm Tree Court, Raleigh Court and Tamarix Lodge, specialist homes for older people, have been shortlisted as finalists alongside Isaac Robinson Court and The Birches, both specialist learning disability homes.

The winner will be announced at the organisation’s annual SHINE ball attended by hundreds of residents from all Hica homes, in September which this year has a Parisian theme.

Gardening has proved an effective relief for older people suffering with dementia. Through participating in gardening projects, those living with dementia have something to concentrate on and work toward which helps engage the brain and continuously ease symptoms.

Hica board members and Julia Woodcock, executive personal assistant will be doing the final judging.

Hica Group CEO Terry Peel said: “It is fantastic to see such service user involvement in the competition. Gardening really helps to ease the symptoms of dementia by giving residents something positive to concentrate on. Most of our residents enjoyed gardening when they lived in their own homes and as they reconnect we have seen how content and calm they are when helping in the garden.

“The Hica in Bloom competition is always a fantastic event with each home bringing a lot of enthusiasm and creativity to the task. Staff do their very best to design and develop an enjoyable space for residents.

The standard of entries this year was very impressive, creating not only beautiful gardens but also sensory areas and interactive activities which support the needs of our residents.”

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