Galway TD announces €1m fund for sensory gardens

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Minister of State for Disability Anne Rabbitte has announced a fund of €1 million to develop sensory gardens which will benefit children and adults with disabilities.

The Gawlay East TD says that the gardens will include features, surfaces, objects and plants that stimulate our senses through touch, sight, scent, taste and hearing.

Voluntary organisations which are funded under Section 38 and 39 of the Health Act can apply for funding for the development of these gardens.

The organisations must have existing facilities used to provide services such as residential, respite or day services.

“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,” said Minister Rabbitte.

“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.”

Minister Rabbitte said that 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,” she said.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Tuesday, 12 October 2021, and proposals are to be emailed to