Rotary Club help restore Sensory Garden – Southend in Sight

Rotary Club help restore Sensory Garden – Southend in Sight

Leigh on Sea Rotary Club funds Friends of Leigh Library Gardens to revamp Sensory Garden with help from Southend in Sight

Members of the Rotary Club of Leigh on Sea paid a visit to the Library Gardens on Wednesday 1 December to present the Friends with a cheque to fund the new planting of the Sensory Garden which has been advised on by members of Southend in Sight.

The Friends of Leigh Library Gardens joined forces with the sight loss charity based in Hamlet Court Road to get some support and advice from keen gardeners amongst its members on the best plants to use to restore and improve the shrubbed area and raised bed behind Leigh Library which was first presented to the Gardens by the Rotary Club and planted as an aromatic garden in 1959.

Southend in Sight’s Community fundraiser Catherine Hodgson has been instrumental in connecting the Friends of Leigh Library Gardens with the Rotary Club, after visiting the Gardens in July with green fingered members from the charity.

Phase one of the restoration has already been completed with autumn planting in the Raised Bed, with three remaining plant varieties being grown for spring planting. The tender varieties in the Raised Bed are protected with bark mulch to minimise frost damage. Roses have also been planted in the shrub bed and Phase 2 of the project will involve adding more shrubs to here and pathway planting.  This is scheduled for late spring 2022.

The President of the Rotary Club of Leigh on Sea, Bob Page was joined by fellow Rotarians Clare and Ben Eng and Ron and Janice Price to present the cheque for £365 to the Friends after their regular Wednesday morning work session.

Valerie Morgan, Chair of the Friends said Friends of Leigh Library Gardens are so pleased to have been able to refurbish the old Sensory Gardens and are indebted to Southend in Sight for their advice and expertise and Leigh Rotary Club for once again so generously footing the bill.”

Bob Page, President of the Leigh on Sea Rotary Club said “It was a pleasure as President of the Leigh Rotary Club to visit Leigh Library Gardens and meet the people who are carrying out community projects such as this. Rotarians originally presented the plaque in 1959, so it was good to see it freshened up and looking brand new again.”

Once completed and established the Sensory Garden will provide a peaceful and aromatic place for those with sight loss and other sensory issues to enjoy. The advice from Southend in Sight’s members was invaluable in helping to select the appropriate plants for the area.  The planting has been chosen not only for scent and colour but also for the sound it creates when stirred by the wind or for the tactile nature of its leaves.

To find out more about the Friends of Leigh Library Gardens and get involved with revamping the sensory garden or take part in the regular work parties, email

To contact Southend in Sight, call 01702 342131 or email The charity’s base at 117 Hamlet Court Road is only open for booked appointments but the charity’s shop is open.

Jamie Langstone