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Tree Takeaway Fosters Community Roots

Media Release September 2012

Tree Takeaway Fosters Community Roots

Shoppers in Tauranga and Mount Maunganui will soon be planting roots to help a new health initiative during World Conservation Week.

Mount Maunganui’s Bayfair Shopping Centre will offer native trees and plants through its ‘Tree Takeaway’ initiative between 11am – 4pm from September 14 to 16. Funds raised will help redevelop an outdoor area within Tauranga Hospital to construct a Sensory Garden. Staff of Mental Health Services for Older People (MHSOP) are creating the garden, and will receive all proceeds from the sales. The plants and trees will be sold next to the Information Desk at Bayfair Shopping Centre for between two to five dollars.

The Sensory Garden, soon to open for MHSOP patients and those attending the community outreach service, will provide a space to fulfil the needs of people who enjoy the passive pleasures of being outdoors amongst plants and help relieve dementia patients of anxiety and stress.

Bayfair’s Tree Takeaway initiative aims to make the sensory garden more relaxing for patients through adding tables and chairs, an oriental trellis, plants and herbs, a garden shed, timber benches, pergola materials and planter boxes to complete the project.

Chief Operating Officer Phillip Balmer is very grateful for Bayfair’s new initiative. “Our in-patients will enjoy the new Sensory Garden, which will provide a space for them to relax away from their ward with family and friends. Other patients, particularly with dementia, will receive the greatest benefit of this new addition to our hospital”, Balmer says.

“Dementia is a condition that affects a large number of the population, but that also rarely gets the attention it deserves. By creating the Tree Takeaway initiative, Bayfair is not only bettering a place for people with dementia to relax and achieve peace, but is also shedding light on the condition, helping others to better understand and nurture their needs”.

Bayfair Shopping Centre marketing manager Nina Rivett is excited about the Tree Takeaway initiative and believes it will be popular with the community.

“The Tree Takeaway initiative is a win-win situation: not only do shoppers receive a tree or a plant for their two to five dollars, which helps the environment and the Bay of Plenty, but they are also able to help a great cause by doing so. We are sure the community will get behind such a great gesture that supports many of our senior community members”, Rivett says.

The Sensory Garden at Tauranga Hospital is overlooked by the Health and Ageing Ward, whose patients have enjoyed the therapeutic sight of the garden since its original implementation. The Tree Takeaway initiative will add to the current gardens’ features of ornamental structures, plants, a mosaic wall and water feature.

The Tree Takeaway initiative will run during World Conservation Week, between 11am – 4pm from 14 to 16 September. All plants will be potted in biodegradable pots and all sales will go towards the Sensory Garden.


© Scoop Media

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