8 April 2019

RBLI dementia garden gets green light

A dementia friendly garden is to be built on Royal British Legion Industries’ village in line with the charity’s centenary year after recent graduates at the country’s biggest home builder, Barratt Developments, were successful in a Dragons’ Den style pitch.

The new £20,000 garden will be placed alongside RBLI’s 50 bed care home Gavin Astor House, and will feature raised flowerbeds to ensure the garden is wheelchair accessible.

This will all be within a courtyard designed specifically for residents facing challenges due to dementia. Barratt will be working with dementia specialists to ensure the courtyard incorporates the latest expert advice on how best to layout a dementia garden.

The plans were given the green light by the charity’s senior management when 12 recent Barratt graduates pitched the plan which sees them responsible for all aspects of the project including planning, securing funding and organising construction. 

This project is the latest in an ongoing relationship between RBLI and Barratt Developments after the home builder donated £750,000 to RBLI’s Centenary Village – a £14 million development which will become a beacon of veteran welfare in the heart of Kent, providing crucial accommodation and welfare support to hundreds of ex-service personnel every year.

David Thomas, chief executive of Barratt Developments plc, said: “We are really proud to have a partnership with RBLI which spans not only financial support, but practical ways of working together too. The dementia garden is a great example of this. It will give our talented graduates invaluable experience whilst at the same time delivering a £20,000 dementia garden that will become much loved by RBLI residents and families.”

Steve Sherry CMG OBE, Chief Executive of Royal British Legion Industries, said: “Barratt Developments’ Graduate Programme offers a phenomenal scheme to university leavers, so we are incredibly proud to have joined forces with them once again. It is great to play such an active role in developing their latest draft of talented, young individuals – all while having a positive impact on the lives of our village residents. 

“Without doubt the dementia garden will be a crucial place of relaxation and calm for our residents and their families at a time when things can unfortunately too often be chaotic.”

Barratt Developments’ graduate programme employs up to 25 graduates every year. It provide participants with learning and development opportunities which focus on an individual’s leadership skills as well, as helping them gain an overall perspective of the business.  Graduates also benefit from coaching and mentoring sessions from senior leaders within the business.