Leamington sensory garden for people with learning disabilities targeted by thieves

The Sensory Garden at Heart of England Mencap in Leamington. The damaged gazebo can been seen.
The Sensory Garden at Heart of England Mencap in Leamington. The damaged gazebo can been seen.

Callous thieves have targeted a sensory garden at a Leamington centre which helps adults with complex learning disabilities.

The incident took place at the Heart of England Mencap day centre in Fordsfield between 7.45pm on the evening of Thursday May 9 and about 8am on the morning of Friday May 10.

The thieves, who had jumped over the fence of the garden, took more than £150 worth of plants potted and ready to be added to the butterfly garden along with a water butt.

They also broke a gazebo while attempting to steal it.

Staff at the centre have reported the incident to the police but also wanted to highlight the work done at the centre to show the offenders how their actions have affected this.

Ashleigh Hunter, who is the team leader for the centre’s complex needs day services, said: “We find appropriate ways to support people to live the life they choose focusing on what an individual can do, rather than their disability.

“We encourage our customers to further enrich their lives through education, life skills, leisure and a range of social activities.

“A lot of our customers have sensory needs and the garden is a great aspect of meeting these.

“They can smell the flowers and plants and experience the wildlife.”

Work has only recently started to create the sensory garden, for which Tesco gave a grant to the centre last year.

Heart of England Mencap is charity and relies solely on donations and fundraising events to fund such projects at its centres.

Anybody with information about the incident can call police on 101.

Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.