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People on the Gold Coast living with disability and their families, now have access to a brand new outdoor space to both relax and participate in some creative educational activities.

A $20,000 grant from the ETC Community Support Fund to Gold Coast Green Living has enabled the construction of a new therapeutic sensory garden located in Country Paradise Parklands, Nerang.

Gold Coast Green Living President Stacey Panozzo said the garden, called “Making Sense”,  was purpose built to provide people of all abilities and ages access to a garden that ignites all five senses in a creative, educational and playful way.

“The project was initiated through experienced Therapeutic Landscaper, Patrick Regnault who has a strong passion to help ignite and further develop disabled people of all ages,” Ms Panozzo said.

“The garden features rest areas, wheelchair accessible pathways, shade trees, plants specifically chosen to awaken the senses, and different types of mirrors are incorporated into the landscaping to make visitors laugh and smile with family and friends.”

According to Ms Panozzo there was a lack of free outdoor areas available locally that were disabled- friendly.

“This leads to a lack of outdoor activities for the disabled community and the aged and causes unintended segregation between abled and disabled people. When this occurs, lack of dialogue occurs and lack of understanding follows,” she said.

“The gardens will help promote discussion within and between groups about inclusion. We aim to close these gaps and offer more opportunities for understanding and group inclusion of all ages and abilities.”

“The launch of this project could not have happened without ETC’s amazing support. The positive social impact that this project will create for thousands of people is thanks to ETC,” said Ms Panozzo.

ETC Director Isabel Borelli said it was a pleasure to be able to support Gold Coast Green Living.

“The ETC Community Support Fund is designed to help organisations reduce disadvantage, generate opportunity, increase support services and/or build capacity in the communities in which we operate,” Ms Borelli said.

“ETC is proud to be a not-for-profit company and we are confident the money we are donating will help make a more positive future for our community.

The next round of ETC’s Community Support Fund opens on 18 March 2019

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