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Minister Rabbitte launches €1m Fund to develop Sensory Gardens

Gardens are to benefit children and adults with disabilities 


Minister of State for Disability, Anne Rabbitte TD, today announced a fund of €1 million to fund the development of sensory gardens to benefit children and adults with disabilities. 


Sensory gardens include features, surfaces, objects and plants that stimulate our senses through touch, sight, scent, taste and hearing. A call for submissions has been issued, allowing voluntary organisations funded under Section 38 and 39 of the Health Act to apply for funding for the development of these gardens providing that it is associated with existing facilities used to provide services such as residential, respite or day services. 


Minister Rabbitte commented, “I am delighted to announce this €1 million fund which will see the development of new and improved sensory gardens targeted for people with disabilities of all ages across the country. I think the pandemic has seen us all develop a deeper appreciation for the outdoors so such an investment in sensory gardens feels even more important now. 

“I have visited a number of sensory gardens around the country, full of textures, smells and sounds, and have met many people with disabilities, their families and disability organisations, who have told me how important and beneficial these gardens can be for disabled people. 


“Sensory gardens can be such an immersive experience, enjoyed by young and old, but the creation and development of these gardens can be especially beneficial to children and adults with disabilities. I very much look forward to the development of these sensory gardens in the months ahead,” concluded Minister Rabbitte. 




Notes to Editor: 


Submissions for funding must include: 

  • Name of organisation, 
  • List of CHOs the organisation provides services in, 
  • Brief description of the proposed development to include the location and type of the service; who uses the service; how this development will benefit the people who will avail of it, 
  • Amount being sought 

It is open to an organisation to apply for a grant for more than one project. The Grants Committee will allocate grants based on the number and geographical spread of the applications. Who can apply? Organisations providing services and supports to children and/or adults with disabilities and which are funded by the HSE through a Section 38 or Section 39 Service Arrangement.  Closing Date · Proposals are to be emailed to:  Deadline for applications is 5.00pm Tuesday 12th October 2021