“Why don’t we go into the garden?

We are excited to be hosting a half day workshop with Step Change Design Ltd in February. The Workshop is for care home staff to identify the reasons why their outside spaces are not used to their full potential and to explore ways to create a more active and meaningful outside space for their residents, particularly those living with dementia.

As part of the event, we (Dementia Adventure) will be holding a Q&A session on positive risk taking and tackling risk-averse cultures.

About the Workshop Leaders

Debbie Carroll and Mark Rendell are garden designers at Step Change Design Ltd. They have more than 20 years of professional garden design, horticultural and project management experience between them, with particular expertise in designing spaces for health and social care settings. In 2013 they designed and self-funded a large-scale research project with the participation of 17 care homes across England and Wales into why gardens in care settings, particularly for residents living with dementia, are not more actively used, even when they follow the latest design guidance. They went on to identify the pivotal role of care home culture in the engagement of the outside space and then produced a set of comprehensive and insightful findings in the form of an innovative and interactive diagnostic tool for the care sector, called The Map, which they will present at this workshop.

The Workshop is for Care Home Staff at all Levels Who:

  • Want to engage their patients / residents more meaningfully with the outside space
  • Have an existing garden that may not be being used as much as expected
  • Are tasked with revitalising and upgrading the outside space within a tight budget
  • Are engaged with architects or designers to improve the outside space
  • Are keen to understand latest good practice in creating actively used outside spaces.

The Workshop Will:

  • Present a summary of the garden designers’ research journey to find the answer to their original question, “Why aren’t care home gardens used more actively?” 
  • Explore the role and influence of the care home’s cultural practice (including Health and Safety) in aiding or inhibiting more active and meaningful engagement with the outside space.
  • List the Top Ten Key Findings from the research for the Care Sector.
  • Introduce the new diagnostic tool, The Map, and show how this aims to help care homes identify their current and anticipated needs for their outside spaces and then to achieve value for money in their involvement with a garden designer or outside specialist.
  • Produce a handy and easy-to-use Checklist that aims to reduce gimmicks in the garden, infantilising approaches with residents and the risk of turning the outside space into a fixed and unadaptable space.
  • Review the relationship between garden designers (and other outside specialists) and care home staff to ensure they deliver what you need and what you will use.
  • This workshop will uniquely include a Question and Answer session with Dementia Adventure on positive risk taking and tackling risk-averse cultures.

Target Audience:

This workshop will appeal to residential and care home staff at all levels, including Carers, Nurses, Activity Co-ordinators, Managers, Owners and Strategic Leaders, Board Members and Operators with responsibility for developing their outside spaces and encouraging their residents to use their outside space more actively and meaningfully.

This workshop is accredited by NAPA as a CPD course for QCF qualifications in Supporting Activity Provision in Social Care.


Presented by:           Debbie Carroll - Step Change Design Ltd

Date:                         Thursday 1st February 2018                          

Time:                         9.30 – 1.30pm. Registration from 9am.   

Venue:                       Dementia Adventure, Unit 11 Old Park Farm, Main Road, Ford End, Essex, CM3 1LN


**For more information including pricing and how to book, please download this form**

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