Residents at a Shrewsbury care home will be enjoying more time in the great outdoors this summer, thanks to a major overhaul of its outside space.

Briarfields in Raby Crescent, which is run by Coverage Care, has added a bug hotel, hopscotch, basketball hoops, a wildflower garden and a light and sound arch in the grounds to encourage residents to spend more time exploring the outside environment and be more active.

Specialist outdoor equipment has also been installed so residents can try some gentle arms and leg exercises, a summerhouse has been built in the garden and bird feeders, donated by CJ Wildlife, have been put up.

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Resident Eileen Evans and Kay Hassall with the new fitness equipment in the grounds of Briarfields

The refurbishment has been funded by a £5,000 award from the Shropshire Council Public Health Everybody Active Everyday scheme run in alliance with Shropshire Partners in Care.

Home Manager Denise Morris said the garden makeover would play a key role in helping residents keep fit and independent.

“Having a more stimulating and exciting outdoor environment will give the residents more reason to spend time in the garden and taking part in the activities. Increased mobility leads to stronger muscles, improved appetites, more confidence, and better sleep, which in turn can lead to a reduction in falls.

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Resident Elsie Arkinstall tries out the new fitness equipment with carer Jessie Crawford-Wilson

“We are monitoring people’s level of physical activity and expect to see that vastly improve over time as the weather improves and they can spend more time outside.”

Denise added: “There’s now lots to see and do in the garden including the exercise equipment. Putting items of interest all round the grounds encourages the residents to explore the grounds more, which is great for their fitness.

“They can spend time out there alone or with their families and carers. The summer house is a quiet space where all residents can potter about in and relax, away from the hustle and bustle of the home.”

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Brian Millington, Jan Griffiths and Elsie Arkinstall relaxing in the new summer house at Briarfields

Coverage Care is Shropshire’s leading independent care home provider, run on a not-for-profit basis. The company cares for mainly older people in 14 homes across the county.