Inclusive communities coordinator
Wendy manages the Creative Spaces in the Community project, the successor to the It is a Sensory Trust flagship project using the outdoor environment to reconnect older people with dementia, young people and the wider community. This work is demonstrating the value of outdoor environments in bringing meaningful activity and a sense of purpose into the lives of older people with dementia - a topic that is becoming of increasing significance with the rise in the number of people with dementia.
Prior to that her role within the team was developing community involvement in projects; encouraging working relationships between green space managers and local communities, particularly people from socially excluded groups. She has developed inclusive consultation techniques to give people the opportunity to voice their ideas and concerns in a positive environment; making consultation accessible to people who find it difficult to engage with conventional techniques.
Wendy has used these techniques to lead the development of access plans and audience development plans to support major Heritage Lottery Fund bids for the renovation of green spaces around the country. All with successful results!
Wendy's background also includes environmental management and environmental education. She worked with BTCV (now known as The Conservation Volunteers) to organise and lead conservation working holidays and develop a programme of day tasks for a group of autistic adults. She was then Education Officer at the Lost Gardens of Heligan, setting up a new environmental education programme, before moving to the Eden Project to join the Human Resources team. She joined the Sensory Trust in 2002.
Selected examples of project work:
- Creative Spaces - demonstrating the role of the outdoors in dementia care
- Dementia-friendly walks and activities programme - helping people live well with dementia
- National Trust access review - evaluation tool and training for the National Trust's Community Learning and Volunteering Managers, rangers and wardens
- Capital Woodlands Project– community consultation and Access and Audience Development Plans for woodlands in Greater London as part of a major HLF bid
- Creative Spaces; a growing project – The Journal of Dementia Care, July 2013
- Use outdoors creatively in residential homes - Alzheimer's Disease International
- How nature can help people with dementia feel connected - article in the Guardian, October 2015
- Making community engagement and staff training creative and fun - creative community engagement at the National Trust's Lanhydrock estate
Wendy has presented at:
- The UK Dementia Congress
- Stirling University DSDC International Dementia Conference
- Salford University Human Rights and Dementia Conference
- RiPfA Councillors & Trustees seminar
Email Wendy firstname.lastname@example.org
Wendy's latest film from the Creative Spaces project
Meet the team
"If you are missing out on the natural joy and wisdom of life, it
is because you have been taught to ignore it... reconnecting with nature
consists of bringing into your consciousness a sensory way of thinking
and relating with which you are born"
Michael J. Cohen