Minister for Disabilities Anne Rabbitte announces €1m investment in Sensory Gardens across disability services

Published on: 17 December 2021

The Minister of State for Disabilities, Anne Rabbitte TD, today announced 65 successful applications for funding to develop sensory gardens for people with disabilities across the country.


Applications for funding were open to organisations providing services and supports to children and/or adults with disabilities, which are funded by the HSE through a Section 38 or Section 39 Service Arrangement.


Sensory gardens are designed to stimulate the senses. The plants and the materials are specifically chosen to stimulate the senses of sight, smell, touch, taste and sound. While sensory gardens are popular with the entire community, they are particularly beneficial to children and adults with Disabilities. Grants range from €1,500 to over €80,000 and a list of locations and service type are attached.


Minister Rabbitte commented, “I am delighted to announce the successful applications for these sensory gardens. There is so much evidence that highlights how sensory supports including sensory gardens improve the quality of life of people with disabilities, as well as provide an accessible space to enjoy.


“One of the great benefits for me as Minister for Disabilities has been to see first-hand the positive impact of initiatives like this, where one can experience the textures, smells and sounds of gardens that greatly enhance an entire community. During some of my visits to Disability Services, I have seen very good examples of sensory gardens and this funding can help increase the number of such projects around the country.


“I’m very excited to see that some of the attached initiatives will include people with disabilities being involved in the design and build of their sensory garden, bringing to life the horticultural skills they have developed in day and residential services.


“I am sure that these gardens will be greatly utilized by people with disabilities, their families, friends and the wider community. Such was the interest in this initiative, I look forward to running a second round in 2022,” concluded Minister Rabbitte.