Sensory garden opening heralds start of National Inclusion Week

Cutting the ribbon to officially open the University’s new sensory garden was the perfect way to herald the start of National Inclusion Week celebrations in Leeds.

Mike Leonard (far left), the University's Residential Property Manager, talks to visitors during the official opening of the new sensory garden

Mike Leonard, Residential Property Manager, at the official opening of the University's new sensory garden. September 2018.

Director of Human Resources, Francesca Fowler, performed the ceremonial honours on Monday 24 September, with the colourful horticultural creation basked in glorious autumnal sunshine. 

Designed on the principle of Access For All, the two-year project – located outside Charles Morris Hall – has really begun to blossom. In addition to an imaginative planting scheme, which offers year-round interest, the garden features wheelchair access and guides for both the visually impaired and blind visitors.

Plants were specially selected to assist those registered on the autism spectrum and people who suffer from a mental health condition to enjoy an area of peace and tranquillity away from the hubbub of University life elsewhere on campus.

Launch of the University's new sensory garden. September 2018Francesca said: “It really is my pleasure to open this garden.

“I like the fact that while a tremendous amount of effort has gone into this garden to make sure it is inclusive and accessible, it’s a garden that anyone can come and see and enjoy, which is what I think inclusivity is really about.

“This is an excellent event to start National Inclusion Week. Those who have worked on the project should be exceptionally proud of what they have achieved, and I hope lots of people enjoy it.”

Official opening of the University's new sensory garden. September 2018Making Leeds a beacon of excellence for equality and inclusion in the higher education sector is the vision for the University as it launches a packed programme of events to celebrate National Inclusion Week (24-30 September).

Staff and students are invited to attend a wide range of activities on offer, which highlight the University’s distinctively international and diverse community.

Sabiha Patel, Head of Equality and Inclusion in the Equality Policy Unit (EPU), said: “We value your support in making this week a success.

“It’s your opportunity to step out from your familiar environment and team to meet other colleagues or students with different experiences and perspectives that add to our rich campus environment. It’s also a chance to reflect on your own experiences and how your everyday work can enhance equality and inclusion.”

This year’s theme is ‘Renewing our commitment to everyday inclusion’. 

The University of Leeds is working in collaboration with Leeds University Union and Leeds Beckett University to stage events throughout the week. Read about each of the planned activities or download the full programme

Contact EPU or call 0113 343 6973 for further information.

See the For Staff website for full details of the sensory garden project.

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