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Lewes dementia carer thanks Burleys for community garden research

Burleys’ community liaison officer for Lewes and the South East has been praised for helping a group of GP surgeries find restorative and restful gardens for its dementia patients and those suffering with mental health issues to enjoy.

Karen Rigby-Faux, whose role is to bring together various community groups in the area, has been working with the surgeries’ new frailty and dementia co-ordinator Julie Barnett to track down accessible, safe and friendly locations for some of their more vulnerable people.

And among the locations Julie discovered with Karen’s assistance was the Landport Community Garden, set within an estate to which Burleys supplies and plants bulbs on a voluntary basis every year.

Julie explained: “The Landport Community Garden in Lewes is a beautiful, large cottage/ kitchen garden with beds, raised beds, sheds, pond, a large walk through greenhouse area, a campfire area. I was in awe. What a space to just be, planting, trimming, pulling up fruit, vegetables and some beautiful flowers, or just relaxing by the pond.

“A couple of weeks ago I took my practice manager and one of our partners at the surgery to see for themselves and they were blown away. I am now working on posters and flyers to be able to promote this Garden to all of our patients, the GPs , nurses and will signpost those they feel will benefit from some time spent in this amazing facility. To be honest that will probably be almost every patient we have, from those with mental health issues to those struggling with physical issues, our patients living with dementia and their families and carers.

“Karen and her work with Greenhavens have had such a great effect upon my work. Without their support so many opportunities would have been lost to our patients and so I would just like to say thank you.”

The Greenhavens Network consists of 92 community green space groups passionate about looking after the environment between Telscombe and Seaford. Karen Rigby-Faux and Burleys played a vital role in ensuring that the embryonic group of interested parties with virtually no funding got off the ground.

Read more about how the Greenhavens network has helped people with dementia locally here.