New sensory garden under construction at Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind headquarters

Cutting of the first sod at the NNAB sensory garden in Norwich. Picture: NNAB

Cutting of the first sod at the NNAB sensory garden in Norwich. Picture: NNAB - Credit: Archant

Work has started on a special sensory garden for visually-impaired people at the Norwich headquarters of Norfolk's sight loss charity.

The new garden, which will open in the spring at the Magpie Road base of the Norfolk & Norwich Association for the Blind, will be available for use for residents at the NNAB's Thomas Tawell House residential care home and Hammond Court supported homes, as well as visitors to the NNAB who want to enjoy the smells, feel and sounds of the new garden.

The project has been made possible through the efforts of the NNAB's fundraising team, as well as a generous £2,150 donation from the Mancroft Lodge, a £250 donation from the Grand Provincial Lodge, and a kind offer by Taverham Nursery Garden Centre to donate sensory plants for the new garden.

In addition, family members of residents of Thomas Tawell House have made donations including a garden bench and specialist plants.

The garden is being built by the NNAB's own in-house maintenance team, headed by maintenance manager Gary Crisp.

NNAB chief executive Gina Dormer said: 'We are very excited to be creating this sensory garden for the enjoyment of all visually-impaired people, both those who live on our Norwich site, and anyone who wants to come and enjoy being surrounded by a highly sensory environment.

'We are extremely grateful to Mancroft Lodge and to Taverham Nursery Garden Centre for their extremely generous help in bringing the sensory garden into existence, as well as to everybody else who has made contributions.

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'We are very much looking forward to the transformation of a previously unused piece of land into something which will provide so much stimulation and enjoyment for visually-impaired people.'

The NNAB helps and supports over 4000 visually impaired people of Norfolk but it is estimated that there are a further 15,000 people who may need our support.

Over five thousand people annually visit its five equipment centres in Norwich, King's Lynn, Great Yarmouth and Cromer to seek advice and learn about new aids available.

The charity runs the only purpose-built residential home for 36 blind and visually impaired residents in Norfolk, plus 20 supported flats to promote independent living.

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