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We’ve been holding out on posting about the planned Greystones Sensory Garden down in Burnaby Park, mainly because we had been hoping to talk to the landscaper involved.

Turns out, after weeks of emails, the Greystones Tidy Towns still haven’t chosen one.

So, given that the hope is to open this autism-friendly corner of Burnaby Park – situated at the walkway down by the side of the Remembrance Garden – in April, hey, we’d best start spreading the good word sooner rather than too late.

Especially given that Aisling from Triple A Wicklow has sent us an urgent email about not only an upcoming mini-fair fundraiser on Paddy’s Day but also how individuals – and local businesses – can get involved with this €40,000  project

Take it away, Aisling…

Greystones Tidy Towns and Wicklow Triple A Alliance need your help. We are appealing to the people of Greystones to get behind our sensory garden and help us fund it. We are looking for either private or company sponsors, which can be anonymous or public. Here is the speil…

Wicklow Triple A Alliance, Greystones Tidy Towns and Greystones Municipal Council are working together to create a sensory garden for Greystones. The space, located in Burnaby Park, is in the development phase.

Aisling Foran, chairperson of Wicklow Triple A Alliance, describes a sensory garden as a space where a person can remove themselves from the hustle and bustle of daily life in order to adjust their sensory system. By taking time out to regulate the sensory system, this then enables a person who might have difficulties in this area participate in their community for longer periods. This type of space is particularly beneficial for people in the community who have sensory processing challenges. This can range from people with autism, ADHD, and other neurodiverse conditions. It is also recommended for people who suffer from dementia, anxiety and mental health conditions. The idea is that a person can use the garden to regulate their senses, such as smell, sight, touch, taste, and hearing. Also, in the area of neuordiversity, two other senses are now recognised. These are our preconception and vestibular systems which help us regulate our sense of spacial awareness and balance.

Marie McCooey, chairperson of Tidy Towns says, “Greystones Tidy Towns is aware that it needs to take all Greystones residents in mind when it comes to doing projects. This is the first time we have looked at what we are doing for people with sensory issues. The idea of a sensory garden came to us at our Family Fun Day last year, when we were asked if we would provide a sensory tent. This opened our eyes to the fact that we do not have a space in the park to meet these requirements. To date, we have raised €10,500, which includes the profits from the Boatyard Christmas Market, sponsorship from Tidy Towns, and sponsorship from Lions Club. We are also applying for local grants.

We have received estimates from contractors which indicates that we need to fundraise in the region of €40,000. We are hoping to reduce this cost by utilizing offers of volunteers from the area. We need donations, volunteers, and sponsors from local businesses or garden centers to get on board. Do you know somebody or a company that might like to become a sponsor of our sensory garden, either privately or publicly? We hope to have the garden ready to open in April, which is World Autism Awareness month. Local operators FoxMcFadden Funfairs have kindly offered to host a mini-funfair for us this year on St Patrick’s Day to help raise funds. They are providing the following rides: Miami (which will take older children and teens), a Tea-Cup ride for children and adults, Children’s Chair-O-Plane, a novelty games stall and fairground shop – so, there will be something for everyone. All profits from the event – which will take place in the Watson & Johnson car park – will go to the sensory garden.

If you would like to get in touch to find out more or to help out, please contact Aisling on tripleawicklow@gmail.com, or Marie on mariettown@gmail.com

You can find out more about the Greystones Sensory Garden here, about Triple A here, and about Greystones Tidy Towns here.

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