‘Louise’s Garden’ unveiled at Linn Primary School

Among those attending the unveiling of the garden were members of Louise's family with Linn PS principal, Mrs Duff and pupils.
Among those attending the unveiling of the garden were members of Louise's family with Linn PS principal, Mrs Duff and pupils.

A former PTA chairwoman at Linn Primary School has been remembered with the unveiling of a sensory garden at the Larne school.

The new space was officially opened on Friday afternoon in memory of local woman, Louise Robinson, who passed away in April 2016.

Attending the unveiling of the sensory garden are members of Louise's family and representatives of Kaleidoscope, includingTrevor Ringland MBE.

Attending the unveiling of the sensory garden are members of Louise's family and representatives of Kaleidoscope, includingTrevor Ringland MBE.

The ‘Louise’s Garden’ initiative was made possible thanks to funding left over from Kaleidoscope NI, a Larne-based charity supported people living with autism and other learning and physical disabilities.

“Kaleidoscope wound up about two years ago and we had some funding left over,” explained Mandy Ferguson, former chair of the organisation.

“Some of this went towards Roddensvale School and the YMCA’s autism project, and the remainder has gone towards creating the sensory garden.

“We wanted to do this in recognition of the fact that there are children with autism and additional needs at a mainstream school.

“Louise was a playground assistant at Linn Primary and had been chairwoman of the PTA.

“She was also very much part of our group as well as other community groups. She loved children and was just like a mummy to us all.”

The concept for the garden was devised by members of the Eco Club at Linn PS, and includes a number of elements designed to appeal to all senses.

“We have a small edible area and sections for touch and smell,” explained Mrs Kirby, Eco teacher at the school.

“There are herbs and fruit trees as well as a range of lavenders, along with grasses and bamboos to create a sound effect.”

The green space features a large stone from the farmyard that originally stood at the school site, along with a water feature.

“There’s also a stone engraved with ‘Louise’s Garden’. it’s all very much Louise,” Mrs Kirby added.

“We tried to get as many of the kids involved in planting the garden out and there were a few Scouts involved as well.”

The unveiling of the garden was attended by members of Louise’s family, along with Trevor Ringland, a former patron of Kaleidoscope NI. Dianne Barr McMillen MBE, also a patron, was unable to attend. Dedication was given by the Rev. Ben Preston.