Solihull sensory garden named as winners at first environment awards - The Solihull Observer

Solihull sensory garden named as winners at first environment awards

Solihull Editorial 27th Mar, 2023   0

A SOLIHULL sensory garden for veterans are among the winners of the first West Midlands Natural Environment Awards.

Set up by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), the awards showcase and celebrate the community organisations, educational institutions, public sector bodies and businesses who are caring for local green spaces.

Almost 100 guests and nominees in the inaugural awards’ four categories gathered at the headquarters in Birmingham of award sponsors KPMG for the celebratory ceremony where winners were presented with their prizes by Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair.

The event was hosted by ‘the Grenfell guerrilla gardener’ Tayshan Hayden-Smith.

The Armed Forces Community Garden in Hillfield Park won the community award.

The garden  has helped improve the biodiversity of an old landfill site to provide veterans with a safe space to explore the garden, get involved with its maintenance and upkeep, or just sit back and contemplate.

It also acts as a meeting area and helps individuals with sensory disorders to develop or reactivate their remaining senses – this is especially important because a lot of veterans suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The project also involved tri-services, residents, the neighbouring primary and junior school, and military charities.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA Chair, said: “Congratulations to all the nominees and winners at our first ever Natural Environment Awards.

“It was great to learn about so many local success stories, present local people with their awards and extend our thanks to them – on behalf of residents right across our region – for their fantastic efforts.

“Looking after our wonderful waterways and precious green spaces enriches all of our lives. The projects we celebrated are improving health and wellbeing in local communities at the same time as contributing towards a beneficial longer-term impact on our environment.

“It’s important to give the passionate community groups, businesses, local authorities and educational institutions the recognition they rightly deserve.”

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