Dementia-friendly memory garden complete thanks to Esh Construction

Esh has completed voluntary works to construct a dementia-friendly memory garden for East Riding of Yorkshire project.

As part of our work in Cottingham we wished to leave a positive legacy that can provide benefits and enjoyment to the service users of Worklink for years to come. Working in partnership with YORhub’s YOR4Good initiative has allowed us to identify and support a fantastic project within the local area and provide a specialised outdoor facility that those living with dementia can feel comfortable in.”

Ross Markwell, Business Development Director at Esh Construction

Esh’s civil engineering division has teamed up with Worklink – an employment training provider for people with learning disabilities – to construct a memory garden which can help those living with dementia.

In partnership with YORhub, the memory garden has been constructed at Worklink’s Cottingham site as a result of Esh’s work in the area on the Cottingham and Orchard Park Flood Alleviation Scheme (COPFAS).

Commencing in August 2019, the community project saw Esh’s site team work closely with the service users at Worklink to create a space where visitors can feel comfortable and recognise aspects from their earlier years.

Worklink is an East Riding of Yorkshire Council project which uses a dedicated training programme to teach adults with learning disabilities the practical and transferable skills they need for employment and day-to-day life.

The memory garden includes features such as curved paths, a potting shed, raised beds for people to plant, a washing line with wooden pegs, a dolly tub and a mangle and seating areas for visitors to enjoy afternoon tea. These features are designed specifically to evoke memories in service users from experiences in their younger lives, which will in turn inspire and encourage conversation. This, along with planting recommended for use in dementia gardens, has created a space where users are able to visit and get involved in the maintenance of the garden.

Paving was donated by specialist utility and infrastructure distributors Jewson Civils Frazer, and Esh donated material and staff time to create the dedicated area for those living with dementia. Prior to the outbreak of Covid-19, the services users of Worklink were also able to get involved in the project to learn necessary skills in construction.

Ross Markwell, Business Development Director at Esh Construction, said: “As part of our work in Cottingham we wished to leave a positive legacy that can provide benefits and enjoyment to the service users of Worklink for years to come. Working in partnership with YORhub’s YOR4Good initiative has allowed us to identify and support a fantastic project within the local area and provide a specialised outdoor facility that those living with dementia can feel comfortable in.

“I would like to thank the COPFAS site team for volunteering to deliver the works, Jewson Civils Frazer for their much-needed donation of block paving and Worklink for working alongside us to ensure the design meets the needs of their service users.”

Debbie Pratt, Worklink Team Leader, worked with the Esh site team throughout the project. She said: “Esh Construction started work at Worklink Cottingham in 2019 creating a memory walk which would benefit the local community and East Riding residential homes. The memory garden includes a small potting shed, raised beds for planting and 1930’s watering cans for watering the garden area. It also includes a lovely pergola where people can sit and watch the world go by, a washing line and a dolly tub so individuals can reminisce while pegging out the washing. 

“This really will have positive impact on the people who visit and enhances the Worklink offer, where a café serves afternoon tea and cake. This area looks amazing and service users and staff were able to get involved working alongside a fantastic Esh team on site. Worklink cannot wait to welcome people to the garden to enjoy the beautiful surroundings when it is safe to do so.”

Tom Harrison, Regional Sales Director at Jewson Civils Frazer, added: “We are delighted to support such a great project, and we’re pleased that our donation of block paving is being used for such a deserving cause. During these testing times, when community initiatives such as this need our collective support more than ever, it’s even more important to do what we can to help. The garden looks fantastic and we’re sure it will make a real difference to those families whose lives have been impacted by the effects of dementia.”

With three site locations, the Cottingham-based Worklink site is within two miles of Esh’s COPFAS site, a flood alleviation scheme procured via the YORhub, YORcivil2 Framework, in partnership with East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the Environment Agency. Esh pledged to construct the Worklink memory garden as part of its commitment to YOR4Good – a community grant initiative which supports economic regeneration projects through schemes awarded via YORhub frameworks.

Stan Brown, YOR4Good Coordinator at YORhub, said: “We are delighted the YOR4Good site initiative was able to support the memory garden and hope the benefits are enjoyed by the local community for many years to come.” 

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