THE Sunshine Garden will bring so much to so many at the Lumphinnans Care Village, and the man who put the plan in motion to create the facility said it was the result of a magnificent community effort.

It was around three years ago that Dick Campbell started the campaign to raise the funding to create the Sunshine Sensory Garden, which occupies the ground between the Lindsay House residential home and Sheltered Housing facility next door.

Dick and his team, at the Fife Sensory Gardens charity, spent a lot of serious fundraising time on putting together the cash which has seen the creation of the beautiful facility between the two care village facilities which replaced Valley House, in Cowdenbeath, and Jenny Gray House, in Lochgelly.

Called the Sunshine Garden, thanks to the pupils of Lumphinnans Primary School, it was officially opened by Dick and team members, Liz Dair and Frank Hall, on Thursday afternoon. The fourth member of the FSG team, Ron Shevas, unfortunately missed the opening due to a heavy cold.

Taking in the day were residents of the two Care Village facilities, who were welcomed along with guests, by Elinor Campbell, Unit Manager, who said: "This is a very big day for us. We feel extremely fortunate to get this provided for us by Fife Sensory Garden, which will bring amazing therapy for all our residents, and especially those who have dementia.

"It really is a tremendous facility and we cannot thank everyone enough who have made this happen".

During the afternoon Lindsay House residents Peter Carr and Jenny Zinkewycz, along with Liz Dair, held the tape for Dick to cut it to officially open the garden.

Dick said he was delighted that everything was in place now and added: “This gives me an opportunity to thank everybody who has contributed to the sensory garden.

“These include my accomplice, Ronnie Shevas, whose motivation and enthusiasm make him a joy to work with; my committee, Liz Dair and Frank Hall, and it would be remiss of me not to mention Marie, Ronnie’s wife from Moorelands Travel; and Cowdenbeath Rotary Club, as well as my lovely wife Annemarie.

“We also need to thank Mhari, from Fife Council; Elinor from Lindsay House; Mark Harper and all his students from Elmwood College for putting the project together; Growforth Ltd, for supplying a lot of plants at cost price; the Community Payback Team, who worked so hard in the garden; and everyone who has contributed to all our fundraising events.”

He went on: “It is not easy to raise in excess of £50,000, and this is our third success after it beginning ten years ago when my mother passed away with dementia.

“She was in the Jean Mackie Residential Home, in Dunfermline, and she always liked my brother and I, and all the rest of the family, to take her for a walk and because she liked gardens we decided to develop a sensory garden for Jean Mackie residents.

“The sensories being hearing, listening, seeing, smelling, ie colours, flowers, water features, safety walkways in gardens, access, health and safety, noises etc, all which have to be catered for in a sensory garden.

“We thank everybody connected here with the fundraising efforts and have now passed on the responsibility to Elinor and her staff at Lindsay House, and as has been seen today, a lot of residents will get enjoyment and benefit from the facility.”

Dick concluded: “Finally, in our experience, the most common problem that occurs is maintenance of the garden.

“Over the coming years we can add other things to the garden and if anybody ever needs us to raise more finance, I am sure we will be happy to help.

“I am very proud to be associated with everybody who has taken part and I am sure that everybody here today will have had someone in their family that has been affected by illness, not just dementia, and maybe they will get the benefits of the Sunshine Sensory Garden.

“We all come from the local area and are very and are very proud to be associated with Lindsay House and cannot thank the local people enough for all their contributions.”

Councillor David Graham, the local authority's spokesperson for Health & Social Care, said that he felt that this facility really was outstanding and he thanked everyone, who played a part in it being created, from the people who backed the fundraising efforts through to the people who carried out the construction of the various aspects of a 'superbly put together sensory garden'.

He added: "The community spirit here is inspirational, and really shows how working together can make a difference. I’m very proud of the work achieved. I’m passionate about Fife as a great place to live, and this type of initiative is helping to achieve this".