Sensory garden created for rape and sexual assault victims in Lincoln

This story is over

A sensory garden has been created for victims of rape and sexual abuse in Lincoln.

Spring Lodge on Dean Road is a sexual assault and referral centre delivered by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT).

The team have transformed the site that was previously a car park into an outdoor complex designed for all ages.

The garden features bamboo plants that grow taller for added privacy, as well as a hopscotch game, a large outdoor chalk board for children to use and a water feature.

Amanda Farquhar, the Sexual Assault Referral Centre Manager has said the idea for the garden, which was inspired by a previous client, will help clients by having a peaceful, calming environment where they feel safe to sit and reflect.

She said: “Seven years ago, a client wanted to symbolise their journey to recovery by planting a rose.

“We were more than happy to assist, but unfortunately we didn’t have a garden – just a tree with a bit of soil in the car park – so the flowers could not be enjoyed.

“Our clients are victims of serious crimes, but we want to provide a relaxing yet safe environment to help them in the best way possible.”

Many clients can be younger victims, who often feel restricted and become restless when they are confined to the indoors.

Heather Ind, a Child and Young Persons Independent Sexual Violence Advisor believes the freedom for young victims to get some fresh air and stimulate the senses will only be beneficial.

She added: “It provides an open space for the young people to talk things through, and have the quiet time to think and relax.”