Drummonds residents sensory garden

Drummonds gardeners

In 2011 leading designer and manufacturer of ergonomic tools, PETA UK, donated a selection of Easi-Grip® gardening tools to the residents of Scope’s Drummonds residential care home in Feering to enable them to make the most of their beautiful sensory garden.

A year later, PETA Managing Director Genny Crockett visited Drummonds, which is home to 39 adults with physical disabilities and other needs associated with cerebral palsy, to see how they are getting on with the tools!

Resident Karen, who has lived at Drummonds for 30 years, explained that Drummonds approached Writtle College and asked if they could help with a new garden design to create a sensory garden. “It was a wonderful idea because it gives us something different and fun to do. It took about five years of planning and a lot of fundraising, but it was all well worth it. We thoroughly enjoy it, sitting out in the evenings when it’s nice, and everyone chips in and helps with the gardening. We get out as often as possible and have gardening lessons once a week which is really interesting. The garden gives us a bit of peace and quiet too! I love it because it reminds me of my dad who always enjoyed gardening so it’s a nice way to remember him.”

Passion for gardening

Karen’s passion for gardening has been somewhat restricted over the years as she struggles with standard gardening tools: “It’s frustrating because I know what I want to do but can’t do it! Conventional gardening tools are out of the question but, because of the way they are designed, the Peta tools give me the ability to do gardening and enjoy it.”

Debbie Foster has been a tutor at the Drummonds Centre for six years and teaches the weekly gardening lessons. “We were delighted with the donation from Peta last year! We have so many different physical challenges among residents so it’s difficult to find products they can all use, but they adapt the Peta tools to a way that suits them. They have definitely helped the residents, who find getting out in the fresh air and actually doing something for themselves gives them a real sense of well-being.”

Genny Crockett was delighted to visit the centre and see the residents enjoying their garden with the use of Peta tools: “It really is great to see how our tools are helping the residents enjoy their garden and achieve something they wouldn’t otherwise be able to. They have done a fantastic job developing their sensory garden and I can see why they all love spending time in it. Our ergonomic tools cater for a wide spectrum of users, so it’s important for us to understand how people of all abilities find our products, and it was really interesting to see how each resident had their own method and style of use.”

Peta products, including gardening tools, kitchen utensils and scissors, have been designed in response to feedback from occupational therapists.