Sensory garden unveiled at Bilney Hall care home for 150th anniversary
- Credit: Ian Burt
A care home has celebrated its 150th anniversary with the creation of a sensory garden for its residents with dementia.
Bilney Hall, in East Bilney, between Dereham and Fakenham, officially unveiled the unique new outdoor space with a ceremony.
The milestone year also saw the home undergo a £1m extension of the Collison wing, which included 10 new en-suite bedrooms, kitted out with modern equipment.
Manager Jenny Daynes spoke at the opening and said staff and residents were delighted when they discovered it was the building's 150th anniversary.
She described 2017 as 'a year of celebration for everyone here at Bilney Hall.'
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The sensory space was designed by staff, residents, relatives, and volunteers.
The home hopes that it will offer a safe and colourful space for residents to enjoy: providing interest, scents, and sensory stimulation throughout the seasons.
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Ms Daynes also thanked one of the home's resident for his extra assistance with the garden.
She said: 'I'd like to give special mention to our resident Graham Mason who has been extremely hands-on with helping us maintain the new garden area.
'Your help has been brilliant and we are delighted to present you with a year's subscription to Gardener's World as a token of our thanks – and to also perhaps bring you some more ideas for next year's planting schemes.'
The 150th anniversary celebrations were aided by an appeal launched by the home to piece together Bilney Hall's history.
They were contacted by people from all over the country, with their memories of the building.
Ms Daynes added that she was: 'delighted to welcome Christine and her sister Frances, descendants of William T. Collison who erected the building back in 1867, both of whom we discovered as part of this research.'
Willie Cruickshank, director of the Norfolk & Suffolk Dementia Alliance, which aims to make Norfolk more dementia-friendly also visited the home to attend the opening of the garden.
The home has celebrated another success this year, when they received a positive rating from an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which Ms Daynes described as a: 'fantastic grading for the work everybody does in caring for our residents'.