A Wirral charity supporting people with dementia has been given a funding boost that will be used to help develop a care home's sensory garden.

The Josephine Sara Foundation will use The Co-operative Bank Customer Donation Fund's donation to install information signs at a 'dementia-friendly' outdoor space at The Old Garden Care Home in Hoylake and help in the creation of a garden at another local home.

Founded in 2018 by Antonia Sara-Kelly after she had struggled to find appropriate care for her mother who’d been diagnosed with dementia, The Josephine Sara Foundation takes a holistic approach to care.

One of its key aims is to facilitate access to safe outdoor space which is dementia friendly, stimulating and attractive with a view to improving quality of life and meeting the emotional and social needs of those who use it.

In line with this approach, the charity has built a thoughtfully designed garden that specifically caters to those living with dementia at a care home in Hoylake.

Gardening can be a particularly beneficial activity for those living with dementia both physically and mentally due to the multi-sensory experiences that plants can offer, as well as the opportunities for gentle exercise it brings.

Antonia Sara Kelly, chair at Josephine Sara Foundation said: "The money we have received from The Co-operative Bank Customer Donation Fund has been crucial as it has enabled us to both further develop our garden at Hoylake through the introduction of information signs and look at creating a new garden at another local care home, in the coming months.

"The garden is so important as not only does it provide an additional space for relatives to visit and spend invaluable time with their loved ones but it also enables residents to enjoy fresh air and proximity to calm and beautiful planting in a specially designed environment."

The Co-operative Bank Customer Donation Fund is open to organisations that are the bank's customers and hold a Community Directplus account.

This account is specifically for registered charities, community interest companies, benefit societies, co-operatives and credit unions and offers them access to ethical and free everyday banking.

Since the fund was set up back in 2003, the bank has donated more than £1.1 million to more than 1,000 community projects, with £100,000 donated this year alone to support communities through the cost of living crisis.

Amelia Burnett, SME product manager at The Co-operative Bank, said: "Supporting our customers, particularly smaller charities and community projects, has never been more important.

"We are proud to have been able to provide these grants to projects across the UK that are positively impacting communities, at a time when many people are facing cost of living challenges."

Applications for the next round of funding are now open and Community Directplus customers can fill in an application form here.