CIC-logo-190As part of Learning Disability Awareness week 2017, we have collected good news stories from our members. Here, Community Integrated Care share the story of how green-fingered tenants at one of their care services launched a crowdfunding campaign in order to build their dream garden.

School Close, a brand new state-of-the-art care service in Kirkcudbright, recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to transform their underdeveloped outdoor space into a garden haven.

School Close, which is managed by award-winning social care charity Community Integrated Care, opened in September 2016. The specialist care service offers people with learning disabilities a homely and accessible living environment.

Tenants are thriving in their new homes and are leading more independent lives. However they want to turn their large outdoor space into the garden of their dreams. Therefore the dedicated staff team have embarked on a crowdfunding campaign to help raise £5,000 to turn the undeveloped area into a relaxing, functional and therapeutic garden.

Tenants and Staff from School CloseThe garden will not only provide a beautiful landscape, it will also be a safe haven for tenants to develop their horticulture skills and grow their own produce. They plan to build an outdoor kitchen and accessible sun room so that everyone can enjoy the garden all year round.

Green-fingered tenants have been getting stuck in digging vegetable patches, as well as putting their creative skills to the test, making colourful wishing wells out of used tyres that were generously donated by local businesses.

Heather Birnie, Service Leader for School Close, says: “I’m so proud of the staff team for taking the initiative in setting up this exciting project. The garden will completely change the lives of the people we support. They will become even more independent and it will enhance their creativity and improve their health and wellbeing.

“Not only will the gardens provide a lovely outdoor space to relax in, it will also be educational as we will invite horticulturalists and hobby gardeners to deliver short courses and workshops to teach everyone important skills.

Heather adds: “Thank you to everyone who has donated so far. We are grateful for any kind of donation, whether that’s by giving money, donating materials or offering manual labour.”

To find out more or to donate to School Close’s crowdfunding campaign, visit