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National Blind Institute to exhibit at Hampton Court for 150th anniversary

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) will be exhibiting at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this summer to coincide with the charity’s 150th anniversary.

Taking place from 2-8 July, the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is one of the highlights in the horticultural calendar.

RNIB’s Community Garden is co-designed by Steve Dimmock, who won Best City Garden and a Silver-Gilt medal at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in 2016, and Paula Holland. The garden has been designed with the input of blind and partially sighted people and will celebrate the community of more than two million people living with sight loss here in the UK.

Flowers and shrubs will represent the spectrum of sight loss, moving from shade-loving species to sun-loving, fragrant and sensory types. And sensory aspects of the garden will convey inclusivity, showing how the senses of touch, smell and sound are something that everyone can enjoy, no matter how they see.

Steel walls with cut out windows will surround a central seating area. These windows will feature filters simulating different eye conditions so that visitors can view the garden from the perspective of someone who sees the world in a particular way.

Eleanor Southwood, chair of RNIB, said: “Community is at the heart of what we do, working with blind and partially sighted people towards a world free of barriers.”

“Removing the barriers that exist for blind and partially sighted people depends on society having a better understanding of the experience of sight loss. Our community garden is designed to encourage people to think about different ways of seeing the world. The garden also marks RNIB’s 150th anniversary and we’re excited to be moving into the next chapter of our story.”

Steve Dimmock said: “It’s an honour to be working with RNIB on this sensory garden in their 150th year. I hope the garden will inspire visitors and get people thinking about what it’s like to live with sight loss here in the UK.”

After the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, some of the garden is to be moved to RNIB’s Swail House in Epsom. Swail House offers supported living accommodation for people aged 18-65 with sight loss and additional needs.

RNIB’s Community Garden is sponsored by Magus Private Wealth.

Visitors to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show will find RNIB’s Community Garden at stand HC/426.

To find out more, visit www.rnib.org.uk/hamptoncourt

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