WATCH: Northstar Centre's new garden a feast for the senses

Berwick’s Northstar Centre now has a blooming beautiful new sensory garden.

A corner of the Castlegate centre for adults with learning disabilities has been completely transformed.

Blooming lovely - Susan Bradley admires some of the blooms at the opening of the Northstar sensory garden. Picture by Jane Coltman

Blooming lovely - Susan Bradley admires some of the blooms at the opening of the Northstar sensory garden. Picture by Jane Coltman

Where a greenhouse and shed once stood, there is now an oasis of colour with flowers and plants, including thyme and mint, along with an attractive water feature.

It’s a feast for the senses of sight, smell and touch.Steph Stafford, service manager, said: “For quite a while, staff and clients have wanted to do a sensory garden for people to sit in and enjoy and add value to the things we do during the day.
“It was a slow start for a number of reasons but in the last year there has been huge progress which is testament to the hard work of those who have raised funds and got on with it.
“There has been lots of consultation and lots of reading of books along the way and now the garden looks absolutely stunning.”
She joked: “I have to say that if everywhere had something like this, nothing would get done – we would just stay there all day.”
She also praised the work done by clients at the centre, such as jewellery and craft-making, as well as the talents of the Shindiggers drumming band.
“It’s a privilege to do what we do,” she added.
The project has been led by John Balmbra and Paul Ford, with help from all service users, notably Brian Keay, Paul Gebbie, Jack Gill and Kevin Blair.
The official opening was carried out last Wednesday by Mayor Brian Douglas, accompanied by the rest of the civic party comprising Mayoress Grace Douglas, Sheriff Jude Eltringham and Sheriff’s Lady Debra Jerdan.
He revealed he was a former pupil of the school which once occupied the site.
“It’s like coming back to the Bash Street Kids,” he smiled.
“It’s a real pleasure to see what has been carried out and an honour to officially open the garden.”

The civic party at the opening of the Northstar sensory garden. Picture by Jane Coltman

The civic party at the opening of the Northstar sensory garden. Picture by Jane Coltman

Centre users in their new sensory garden at Northstar. Picture by Jane Coltman

Centre users in their new sensory garden at Northstar. Picture by Jane Coltman