A plan to create a custom-made sensory garden to help Southend dementia sufferers, has won £270,645 of specialist Department of Health funding.
The garden will be based at St Martin's Residential Care Home, Imperial Avenue, Westcliff.
It will be run by The Southend-on-Sea Darby and Joan Organisation, and will regularly be available for dementia patients to visit from elsewhere.
It will incorporate best design principles for dementia care and research from the Kings Fund Institute on Enhancing the Healing Environment.
When completed, it is expected that the garden will become a national example of excellence in dementia care to specifically help with challenging behaviours such as aggression often associated with dementia, to help trigger memories, and stimulate the senses with floral fragrances and colours.
There will also be activity areas for no-bend vegetable growing and workshops for painting and small craft work.
Southend councillor for adult social care, health and housing, Lesley Salter said the council was absolutely delighted and proud to have won funding for this terrific project which could well become a national example for others to follow. She said:
"It reinforces the council's commitment to people with dementia and their carers within Southend and supports the highly successful 'Worried about Your Memory' awareness events the council provided at the beginning of the year, and will be repeating this autumn.
The garden called 'Walkway to a long Life' has been designed by Sean Butler from Cube1994 - an Essex based company with expertise in developing sensory gardens - in conjunction with staff and relatives from St Martin's and the council's dementia manager Chris Harris.