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Anastasia Barnes, a senior occupational therapist at the Emerald Centre in Colchester, Essex, has won this year’s Cosyfeet OT Award.

Anastasia Barnes image
Anastasia Barnes

The £1,000 award will help fund the creation of a sensory garden where dementia clients and their families can spend time gardening and relaxing together.

The garden will provide a space where individuals with dementia can interact with the environment, utilise their skills and knowledge, regain self-esteem and be physically and mentally active. In this way, sleep, appetite, fitness and mood can be improved for a better quality of life.

It will also provide a place where positive memories can be created for the families of dementia sufferers and where community groups can gain a better understanding of dementia while assisting with garden development projects.

Anastasia commented: “The therapeutic benefits of horticulture and art are well documented. Our garden will incorporate plants to stimulate the senses and sculptures made by patients from everyday objects.”

The Cosyfeet OT Award assists OTs and OT students to develop their professional knowledge and skills while benefitting others.

The award is open to those who are planning voluntary work, a work placement, a client-focused project or research, whether in the UK or abroad.

Andrew Peirce, Managing Director of Cosyfeet, said: “We’re delighted to assist Anastasia in the creation of the sensory garden.

“Dementia is such a huge issue for us in the UK at the present time. This inspired initiative will create a therapeutic space in which patients and their families can be purposefully engaged and enjoy quality time.”

Cosyfeet is a manufacturer of shoes for people with swollen feet, offering a variety of extra roomy shoes, socks and hosiery on the market. According to the company, 11,000 health professionals recommend Cosyfeet products to their patients.

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