A new sensory garden has been officially opened by Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health, at the County Council’s Hexagon Centre in Chandler’s Ford.
The centre supports adults with learning and/or physical disabilities. The ‘Brian Spurrier Sensory Garden’ was completed after a decade of hard work by former client, and then volunteer, Brian Spurrier, who attended the centre following a horse riding accident.
From his wheelchair Brian laid the garden’s concrete pathways, a shaded seating area, a small pond and fountain, as well as creating flower and herb beds for a variety of plants offering touch and smell senses. Artwork made by centre users also features in the garden.
Brian sadly passed away last year aged 61, but the clients at the centre wanted to dedicate the sensory garden to its creator.
Councillor Fairhurst said: “The garden is fantastic, and testament to an inspirational man. Brian saw the need for a space where people can come, relax, and de-stress. I am delighted to have opened the garden for everyone to enjoy and to dedicate it to his memory. His family and everyone who worked alongside him at the centre are very proud of what he achieved despite his disability – and rightly so.”
Rob Wheeler, manager of the Hexagon Centre, said: “Although others have been involved, Brian was the driving force and inspiration behind the project. He wanted to give something back for the support he received, and for others to enjoy. We are enormously grateful for his dedication and hard work.”
Brian’s daughter, Emma Silman, said: “When I found out that the Hexagon Centre wanted to name the sensory garden after my dad, as a family we were truly honoured. It’s really lovely that dad will be remembered in this way. He put a lot of time and effort into this garden, and was passionate about making sure it was fit and ready for everyone to use.”
Around £10,000 was raised by Brian to support the garden’s creation, with additional funding provided by the Hexagon Centre’s charitable support group, The Friends Of Hexagon, and other organisations including Hampshire County Council, Waitrose and a number of private individuals.