STUDENTS have joined forces with a popular orchestra to create an innovative sensory garden for dementia patients.

A team of first year learners from the Horticulture course at Coleg Cambria’s Northop site are working with Wrexham Symphony Orchestra (WSO) to transform the space at Wrexham Maelor Hospital Adult Mental Health Unit.

They have already cleared the area and will return to landscape and construct the garden, complete with musical features and bespoke furniture, ahead of its opening in Spring 2021.

The project is being led by the Orchestra, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary concert season and raises funds every year for charitable causes, including mental health awareness.

As part of their Cobalz sponsored Gustav Mahler series - which has been running since 2010 - they are planning a Mahler concert at the iconic Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, with all proceeds going towards the appeal.

Derek Jones of the WSO said Coleg Cambria students will play a key role in producing a garden that will have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of patients for many years to come.

“The students have been fantastic in clearing and painting the space in readiness for the work that lies ahead,” said Mr Jones.

“There’s a lot of potential and we are excited about how it will look and sound, given the unique shape and size of the outside area.

“We are currently in discussions with a national sponsor - whose charitable work also has a focus on mental health awareness - exploring how they might be able to support us, so when we have the right design we will be in a good position to create the garden.”

He added: “The orchestra will make its return to the Bridgewater Hall in June 2020 when it will conclude its Mahler cycle, performing Mahler’s 8th Symphony.

“We will be joined by a chorus of several hundred voices which makes it the biggest concert we’ve ever performed, so it’s a huge project for us, as well as the college and the clinic.

“This is really exciting and will be a lasting testimony to 10 years of fundraising and performances of Mahler’s challenging and complex music. Together with the students, we are confident we can produce something everyone will be proud of.”

The Adult Mental Health Unit is an acute centre with 71 beds – including the older persons unit - and round-the-clock staff, supporting people with conditions including bipolar disorder, early onset dementia and advanced mental illness.

Mike Shone, Modern Matron at the facility, said the completed sensory garden would be “life-changing” for patients and visitors.

“We want our ladies and gentlemen to be as comfortable and happy as possible when they’re here, and this will play a huge part in achieving that,” he said.

“It’s a very difficult time for families and relatives, coming into a strange environment, so making it less clinical and a more pleasant space which appeals and stimulates all of the senses will be incredible.

“The students have already become ‘dementia friends’ and attended workshops to get an understanding of what exactly we need and what value this will have – we are extremely grateful to them and the orchestra.”

David Jones, Chief Executive at Coleg Cambria, added: “We are proud of the students and thrilled to be able to contribute towards the construction and delivery of this amazing sensory garden.

“The students are immersed in the orchestra’s vision and look forward to bringing that to reality in the near future to make a difference to people’s lives and display the talent and knowledge they’ve already gained while on the course.”

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 10 hours 22 minutes ago

National Disability Strategy

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page