1. ITV Report

Groundbreaking dementia friendly garden launches to help people affected by condition in Leeds

A groundbreaking garden that has been specially designed to support people with dementia has opened in south Leeds.

Campaigners from the Dementia Friendly Rothwell campaign have raised 35 thousand pounds to build the facility in Springhead Park, Rothwell.

It has been designed with help from researchers at the University of Stirling and features handrails, armchair benches and raised flower beds filled with sensory plants.

Dementia Friendly Rothwell campaigner Peter Smith is behind the project. He also runs a series of dementia cafes in the area and has been awarded a British Empire Medal by the Queen for his work.

Mr Smith's campaign, which was launched in 2011, has also seen dozens of businesses and organisations given dementia awareness training.

This stimulates not only their sense but their general wellbeing as well and conversation-wise and socialisation because being social is so important - I found that with all the groups and cafes that I do. The smells, the textures, it's just an environment that they can call their own.

– Peter Smith, Dementia Friendly Rothwell
The garden is situated in Rothwell's Springhead Park. Credit: ITV

The garden has been built around the park's existing aviary and was supported through grants from the likes of Leeds City Council and Rothwell and District Live at Home Scheme.

It is hoped that the facility, which is one of the first of its kind in the UK, will stop people with dementia from becoming isolated and stimulate their minds.