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Sensory garden designed by young people with additional needs

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Award winning Lister Park creates a fun place for the less able
A new sensory garden designed and developed by local young people with additional needs is now open for everyone to enjoy within the existing Botanical Gardens, in Lister Park, Manningham.

Bradford Council’s Youth Service was awarded funding from the Short Breaks for Disabled Children grant and worked alongside a group of young people to design and develop the garden. The main aim was to appeal to people with a range of additional needs.

As well as flowers the garden also contains edible fruits and herbs including wild strawberries, chives and rosemary. Young people put forward ideas for additional features such as having a musical instrument in the garden for people to play on their visits.

Knowl Park Nurseries helped to identify suitable plants, flowers and herbs which were safe to touch, had interesting smells to complement each other, and would return again year after year.

The Council’s Parks team were key in helping to identify the most appropriate area of Lister Park to create the garden,

Bradford Environmental Education Service (BEES) worked with the group to help to plan the layout of the garden,

Abu-Sufyan Mohammed, a young person involved in creating the garden who is partially sighted, has Autism and mild learning difficulties, said: “My idea was for the garden to include frogs. I enjoyed being part of the design and planning, I thought it was great.”

Heather Wilson, Area Youth Work Manager, said: “The young people wanted to make sure there was something for everyone and the garden appeals to all the senses; sound, sight, touch, smell and taste.

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£50 million awarded to help deprived children in Bradford

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Lottery funding to give Bradford babies a better start
Bradford has been awarded up to £50m from the Big Lottery Fund to transform the lives of babies in one of the poorest areas of Bradford.

The funding has been given to Better Start Bradford, a community partnership led by Bradford Trident which works with families in Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton.

The grant was announced to families at Bradford Trident’s Mayfield Centre on Monday 16 June.

About 20,000 children will benefit from The ground-breaking ten year project and aims to see what methods are the best for laying the foundations for 0-3-year-olds to improve their future health, social and educational outcomes.

The Big Lottery Fund’s A Better Start programme aims to prevent costly health problems such as heart disease and diabetes, difficult social problems such as neglect or poor mental health and low educational attainment – all of which can be traced back to some vulnerable children not having a good start in the first crucial years of development.

Approximately 1,430 babies are born each year within the areas of Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton. The district as a whole has significant deprivation levels and within these wards there are high rates of infant mortality and child poverty, low school readiness, and high rates of domestic violence and child protection orders..

Bradford Trident Chief Executive Mick Binns said: “This programme will change the future prospects of a whole generation of our children and we are delighted to be working with our communities and partners to achieve it.”

Since March 2013, Bradford Trident, which won a Bradford Council-led bidding process to run the scheme, has been speaking to families.

Better Start Bradford Programme manager Gill Thornton said: “What’s really good about our Better Start project in Bradford is that we’ve got loads of parents involved in it and it’s going to be led by the community,  so that means those messages are going to be spread far and wide.”

Big Lottery Fund England Director Dharmendra Kanani said: “Parents want the best for their children and as a society we know that what happens in the first three years of life profoundly affects a child’s future life chances.

Better Start will work alongside the Born in Bradford study which has been following 13,500 babies since 2007, exploring why some stay healthy but others don’t.

Bradford is one of five areas in England – including Southend, Nottingham, Blackpool and Lambeth – sharing £215 million from the Big Lottery Fund’s A Better Start investment that will help improve the lives of more than 60,000 babies and children.

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