A GARDENING group has been awarded after becoming more inclusive for people living with dementia.

Denbigh in Bloom, the gardening volunteer group which has planted trees, raised flower beds and railing baskets across the town, has been awarded ‘Working Towards Dementia-Friendly Status' by Alzheimer’s Society (AZS), the leading charity campaigning for dementia care and research.

The award was given by Dementia Friendly Denbigh, the volunteer steering group for AZS which helped the town achieve Dementia-Friendly Community status last June.

The AZS scheme recognises communities and groups who make steps to help raise awareness of the challenges of living with dementia.

Denbighshire Free Press:

Dilwyn Jones, chair of Dementia Friendly Denbigh and Lyndsey Tasker.

All the gardening group’s members have taken part in a ‘dementia awareness’ workshop and planted forget-me-nots, the symbol of Alzheimer’s Society also known as myosotis, in its flower beds at Temple Bar and Trewen.

They have also worked on flower growing projects with residents at Plas Eleri Nursing Home in Denbigh.

Denbigh in Bloom is a volunteer branch of the RHS' Britain in Bloom initiative, which promotes environmental responsibility and community participation.

Lyndsey Tasker, chair of Denbigh in Bloom, said: “The volunteers are proud to receive the award as it is something we wanted to support and involve in our ethos. There are a lot of people living with varying stages of dementia and it can be difficult for them to get by.

“We met with Dementia Friendly Denbigh last May and since then we've been able to incorporate forget-me-nots into our planting schemes.

“Gardening can help people living with dementia because it is therapeutic, getting fresh air and having contact with nature. It also means you can watch your plants establish and grow.

“It clears the mind and helps deal with the strain that a lot of us experience in life.”

Denbighshire Free Press:

Forget-me-nots planted by the Denbigh gardeners.

Margaret Hadwin, activities coordinator for Plas Eleri, said: “Some of our residents living with dementia have benefitted from growing plants for Denbigh in Bloom. Planting seeds and watching them grow is stimulating.

“There are also residents who used to garden and they reconnect with their memories of gardening, which gives them joy.”

Rebecca Bowcott, secretary of Dementia Friendly Denbigh, said: “We decided to focus on three areas as part of our plan to make Denbigh a Dementia-Friendly Community. This included children and young people; businesses and shops; and community groups.

“The three other Denbigh groups who have achieved the status already are Ysgol y Parc, Meter Iaith and Denbigh Library.

“We are always working towards making Denbigh more dementia-friendly and welcome any businesses or groups who would like to get involved.”

The next dementia awareness sessions will be held at Denbigh Library on Monday, April 29 during 4pm-5pm (Welsh language) and Monday, May 13 during 6pm-7pm (English language).

For more information visit the Dementia Friendly Denbigh Facebook page or email dementiafriendlydenbigh@outlook.com