Tranquil haven having positive impact on visitors to The Cavalier Centre 

Thursday 15 February 2024

A peaceful haven and sensory garden created at The Cavalier Centre in Shropshire is having a huge positive impact on the lives of visitors.

Severn Trent’s Community Fund awarded £9,800 so that a sensory community garden could be built for the local community to use.

The plan was to make a retreat that offers the opportunity to rest and relax or be involved in planting, weeding and other outdoor activities and a whole host of groups have been using and maintaining it including older people from residential care homes, carers and their cared for, families, people with disabilities and people who face challenging circumstances in their lives.

Funding was used for materials to create the garden and to pay a member of staff to run some introductory programmes to get the garden built and create learning resources to be used.

The garden is already proving a huge success with around 3,500 people from centre users, volunteers, carers and visitors enjoying the site and taking part in the workshops, as well as giving them a calming environment to relax in.

Rachel Lambert-Jones, Centre Manager, said: “We are thrilled with the garden – when the sun is shining there is no nicer place to be than sat there watching the bees on the flowers and ponies grazing in their paddocks nearby.

“The garden is the perfect place for some quiet time and is used by volunteers, participants, staff and visitors alike - it has even been used as a space for yoga. Our volunteer gardeners are doing a brilliant job of keeping everything looking beautiful, and we’re grateful to Severn Trent for making our dream of a beautiful outdoor space a reality.”

The Cavalier Centre, which was recently awarded The King’s Award for Voluntary Service, is an accessible and inclusive equestrian centre near Much Wenlock, that offers Riding for the Disabled activities.

They also run programmes which support improved confidence and skills and support mental and emotional wellbeing - all their activities are designed to be accessible to people with disabilities and disadvantaged people who may struggle to access mainstream provision. Their small team of staff and army of volunteers work together to create a welcoming and supportive atmosphere where ability is championed.   

Jade Gough, Severn Trent Community Fund Officer, said: “The garden at The Cavalier Centre is a beautiful and peaceful place and I’m so pleased to see how it is having an impact on the lives of visitors and people who use the centre.

“I can’t wait to see the garden develop, grow and be a real asset for the whole community to use.

“We are always looking for more new local projects in the regions in which we work which would benefit from grant funding and encourage anyone who may be interested in finding out more about our Community Fund to get in touch.”  

For more information on the Severn Trent Community Fund and to find out how to make an application visit and search for Community Fund.