Certitude, a London charity that provides personalised support for people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health needs, is taking part in the Santa Run on Sunday (6 December). The aim is to raise £800 for a sensory garden in Brixton.
Catherine Austin, the charity’s local house manager, who will be one of the runners, said: “The garden at this particular house in Brixton house has always been a significantly large space, but hasn’t yet held much interest for the people who live there. The housemates have very high support needs, and most aren’t able to communicate verbally.
“They do, however, communicate through other methods, and this suggests that sensory stimulation is a significant and possibly increasing part of creative and improved communication.”
Sensory gardens provide sensory stimulation for people who can’t get these experiences elsewhere – think smelly herbs, raised beds, accessible decking, water features and outdoor musical instruments.
“Sensory stimulation and time spent outdoors promotes relaxation and positive emotions, which is as much of the case for people we support as it is for everyone,” says the charity.
Certitude community fundraiser Sam Mason said: “Fundraising has gone tremendously well so far, but our £10,000 target is still a way away. We’ve had some brave runners take on the Edinburgh Marathon in May and volunteers from Lloyds Bank who helped us prepare the garden.”
You can support the charity by visiting its Just Giving page or text ‘CERT02 £5’ to 70070, which will send an immediate donation of £5 straight to the sensory garden piggy bank.