St Andrews Botanic Garden funding for events for disabled youngsters and carers

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St Andrews Botanic Garden secured funding to create and deliver a series of family focused events for disabled children and young people and their parents and carers.

Its ‘Growing Together’ project has been backed by the Short Breaks Fund, resourced by Scottish Government. It means families will be able to enjoy spending time together participating in structured activity sessions within the tranquil, safe setting of the garden. For the children, the sessions will provide an opportunity to be outdoors, getting hands on with nature and taking part in adventurous activities - something families had requested during consultation carried out by the team.

Carers will also have the opportunity to switch off from the ‘day to day’ and get involved as they participate in enjoyable and engaging activities.

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Nicola Lockwood, Short Breaks Fund grant officer, said: “We are delighted to fund Growing Together and are excited to see how this new innovative project will develop and provide some much-needed time out for parents, carers and disabled children and young people.

Pond dipping at at St Andrews Botanic GardenPond dipping at at St Andrews Botanic Garden
Pond dipping at at St Andrews Botanic Garden

“You cannot underestimate the benefits of being at one with nature and having a break that is suited to carers needs. These sessions sound like lots of fun and I am sure new friendships will be developed.”

The project will also provide each family with a membership to the Botanic Garden, allowing them to visit as many times as they like.

The team has created a fantastic variety of activities including campfires, outdoor life skills, bug hunts and sensory activities. It is also working on several widening access projects to support the local community including running funded holiday club provision for families most in need and has recently launched monthly DAISY Fridays - Donate As It Suits You - in place of standard admission tickets.

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Rebecca Duncan, development manager, St Andrews Botanic Garden, said: “We’ve been building relationships to seek advice from local service providers and this highlighted there is a lack of this type of provision within this area in Fife and there is a clear demand from the families they support. We’re passionate about creating tailored programmes to address identified needs within the community and ensuring there are opportunities for all.”

A ‘campfire consultation’ session is planned for Saturday, June 3 from 1:00-3:00pm, a free fun event where families with disabled children and young people are invited to take part for an afternoon of campfires, marshmallow toasting, den building and bug hunts - along with the chance to have your say on our events for children & young people with disabilities and their family units.

RSVP for your free place please email [email protected]