A Sunderland-based community group is celebrating the completion of its new sensory garden, which was built with the help of volunteers from across the region and builders’ merchant Jewson.
Include ‘In’ Autism provides support and services for children, young people and adults with autism, and their families, across the North East of England. In July 2018, the charity was awarded £4,000 of building materials by Jewson as part of its Building Better Communities initiative.
Using those supplies, the organisation has created a safe and calming outdoor environment where children can learn new skills and interact with one another. This includes a ‘buddy bench’, where children can sit when they need someone to talk to, and a sensory garden to stimulate their minds.
The extensive work was completed in just two days, from 1st – 2nd October, thanks to help from local businesses including Jewson.
Marie Jevon, director at Include ‘In’ Autism, commented: “A big part of what we do is helping children, young people and adults form meaningful relationships, and having a calming environment for them to be able to do this is key. With the new sensory garden and ‘buddy bench’, the children have a safe space to create friendships and develop vital social skills, and that means the world to me.
“I’m so grateful to Jewson and all those who came to help build the sensory garden in such a short space of time – it’ll go such a long way in helping us continue our work at Include ‘In’ Autism.”
Dave Farrow, Jewson area director for the North East, added: “Building Better Communities is all about giving something back to worthy causes across the UK. Marie is a credit to her community, and it’s important that local companies like us do what we can to help out.
“The energy, effort and commitment Jewson staff and local volunteers have shown on this, and previous Building Better Communities projects, in our region makes me so proud.”
Include ‘In’ Autism was one of 37 regional projects awarded a share of the £250,000 Jewson Building Better Communities prize fund in 2018. The charity’s prize was presented by TV presenter and architect George Clarke.
To find out more about Jewson Building Better Communities, visit: www.buildingbettercommunities.co.uk