Sensory garden opens at Dudley specialist centre

People with learning disabilities can enjoy a brand new sensory garden, which was opened by the Mayor of Dudley, following work at a specialist centre in Stourbridge.

A nationally recognised resource, the Unicorn Centre in Amblecote is used by people with profound and multiple learning disabilities and complex health needs and it is hoped the garden will give visitors the chance to safely explore outdoor space.

Work to develop the wheelchair friendly garden began last year. Different materials, trees, shrubs and plants have been included to stimulate senses throughout the year through colour, texture and smell and all weather awnings have been fitted to provide shade and shelter in all weathers.

The garden also incorporates a seating area using environmentally friendly hardwood furniture, soft lighting, outdoor speakers and sensory accessories such as garden bells, solar chimes, windsocks and colourful pinwheels. Raised flowerbeds will give people theopportunity to try their hand at gardening. Matt Bowsher, chief officer for adult social care, said:

"Dudley Council is delighted to see this new sensory garden installed at the Unicorn Centre, which is a leading service for people with disabilities.

“We are always looking to build strong relationships with the local community working closely with schools and other agencies and we are hopeful that the garden will become a shared resource where people can come together and share in the joy of gardening.”

The Unicorn Centre underwent a £1.2 million refurbishment in 2011 and is now a fully accessible centre, equipped with innovative technology and a changing places facility that is open to the public.

People who would like to find out more about the Unicorn Centre and those who would like to visit the sensory garden can call 01384 813300 or email


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