Rovers lend support to new sensory garden in Sligo Day Care Centre

Sligo Rovers are lending our support to the Alzheimer Society of Ireland after they announced plans for a new sensory garden for people living with dementia at Sligo Day Care Centre.

The project will be completed by October 2022.

The ASIis also making a public callout to members of the public to support the project – either volunteers with key skill sets or people who might be interested in sponsorship and other funding opportunities.

If people are interested in lending your support or are looking more information, please contact The ASI’s Cathryn O’Leary (085 856 6478) and Clair Culkin (085 872 0043) via

The ASI provides supports and services in the Sligo area including Dementia Adviser, Home Care and Day Care at Home and also the Aughamore Day Care Centre, which provides dementia-specific, person-centred care to meet the needs of the person with dementia in a warm, welcoming and safe environment while providing support and stimulation.

They work with each person to ensure they feel comfortable and supported and their individual needs are meet as far as possible. They also offer a wide range of activities including reminiscence therapy, music sessions, gentle exercises, arts and crafts and personal care.

The ASI is Sligo Rovers’ charity partner for the 2021 season. Each year the Bit O’ Red partner with one charity or cause and provide support in terms of fundraising and awareness to assist their work.

This year, Sligo Rovers will commit to a number of initiatives to support The ASI’s Sligo supports and services. This year The ASI has been chosen by Sligo Rovers, with all funds raised during the partnership being ring-fenced for dementia-specific supports and services in Sligo. Earlier this year it was confirmed that former Sligo Rovers manager Billy Sinclair, who led the club to the 1977 league title, has been diagnosed with dementia.

A sensory garden of this nature allows people with dementia the opportunity to be outdoors and have meaningful interaction with others while enjoying the outdoors.

A sensory garden for people with dementia is an environment that is specifically designed to stimulate all five senses and can help reduce depression and stress and provide individuals with dementia a sense of well-being. The safety features incorporated in the dementia garden, no steep gradients/ steps, wheelchair accessibility, smooth pathways, wall and fencing features etc allow the person freedom of movement and decision making in that setting.

Clair Culkin, Nurse Manager, The ASI’s Aughamore Day Care Centre said: “We are really excited about working on this exciting new sensory garden project at the centre.

“This project will promote the importance of physical health and physical activity by increasing the opportunity for people living with dementia to be able to enjoy meaningful activity hence improving physical health and mobility.

“All gardening activities involve using the hands, so getting people with dementia out in the garden can particularly improve hand strength.

“The garden will offer people with dementia an opportunity to come together. Engaging with others in a meaningful environment is likely to spur conversations between people living dementia and will give them the opportunity to meet likeminded individuals, while developing new knowledge and skills.

“There is great support and goodwill towards this project in the community; we just can’t wait to get started.”

Rovers chairman Tommy Higgins added: “As a community based club, Sligo Rovers are delighted to be associated with our charity partner The Alzheimer Society of Ireland and the Aughamore Day Care in this worthy project.

“We look forward in bringing this project to fruition. The great strength of Sligo Rovers is our volunteers. They value our club but equally they value our locality and the importance that we care for everyone within our home place.

“We are sure some of our supporters would be happy to volunteer for a few hours over a period for this very worthy cause.”