Sensory and Play Garden for Roy Kinnear House, Twickenham, UK
Sensory and Play Garden for Roy Kinnear House, Twickenham, UK

Sensory and Play Garden for Roy Kinnear House, Twickenham, UK

Sensory and Play Garden for Adults with Complex Needs at Roy Kinnear House, Twickenham, UK

The son of actor Roy Kinnear, Rory Kinnear, a very popular and talented actor, reached out to Mark Lane Designs Ltd to help design and create a sensory and play garden for the residents at Roy Kinnear House, a care home run by Choice Support. Roy Kinnear House is a specialist person-centred service for people with very complex needs.

Rory’s sister, Karina, was a resident there until her death in 2020. The garden renovation is in her memory. Rory says:

On May 10th, our beloved daughter, sister, niece, aunt and friend, Karina Kinnear, died from coronavirus. She was 48. Loved by all who had the good fortune to know her, she was the shining and gentle centre of our family. Her bravery was heroic, her sense of joy unbounded. She was tough, funny, anarchic, with as many different laughs as there are days of the year. We can only begin to guess how much we’ll miss her.

In response to her death many people have asked where they may make a donation in Karina’s name. The idea behind the crowdfunding is to continue the work that was begun in Karina’s, and my father’s, name.

In 1994, frustrated at the lack of provision available for people with the care needs that Karina had, Rory’s mother, Carmel, began fundraising to build a home for young adults with severe physical and mental difficulties. Roy Kinnear House opened in 2000.

The garden

The garden will become a place to have fun with an accessible swing and roundabout, an area for ball playing, a sensory space near to a pond (a favourite place of Karina’s), slip-resistant level pathways predominantly comprising resin-bound rubber and a first for adults – a sensory tunnel with colour-change lights, sound, textures on the walls and more. Sensory planting will surround the spaces.

This is a garden to excite the senses, calm the senses,. There will also be spaces for personal reflection or one-on-one sessions outdoors, with a secluded seating area at the end of the sensory tunnel.