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Centre users gladly led up garden path after Sanctuary makes grounds wheelchair-friendly

Sanctuary Homes makes grounds fully accessible.

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Green-fingered visitors to a centre for disabled residents in Renfrewshire are now able to access its gardens.

Uneven ground at the Disability Resource Centre in Paisley’s Love Street made it hard for service users to enjoy the outside space. 

Housing provider Sanctuary Homes replaced the red blaize and whinstone paths with an asphalt surface, enabling visitors to go outdoors.

The work is a community benefit of the 132 affordable homes Sanctuary is building on the site of St Mirren FC’s old Love Street stadium.

Gordon Dickson, the Centre’s gardening co-ordinator, said: “It’s a completely universal set up now, and the work’s opened the garden to everyone. No more is it a case of ‘wheelchair users round the front, more able-bodied round the back’. That’s a big thing and makes our wheelchair users feel more involved.

“There is also much less chance of those with general mobility issues falling or tripping in the garden. The work by Sanctuary has made a massive difference and the whole place generally looks much better. We’ve even got an area for functions now which we’ll use for barbecues and social events through the summer.” 

Paul Roderickson, 39, is one of dozens of Renfrewshire residents who visits the centre each week.

He said: “I’m really unsteady on my feet, and I used to be quite apprehensive about coming out. It was all uneven with boulders and bits of glass. It was really, really treacherous.

“I’m not so apprehensive any more, and I really feel safe here. It’s just amazing and has really helped us out.”

Pat Cahill, Director of Sanctuary Scotland, said: “It is fantastic to see how our resurfacing work enables every service user to enjoy the centre’s fabulous garden.”

A short film on the project can be viewed on YouTube.