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14 March 24

Affinity Water supports The Red Shed Garden Project to aid those living with dementia

Affinity Water is proud to announce their recent grant funding allocation to The Red Shed Garden Project, a charity aimed at supporting individuals living with dementia in Hertfordshire. This funding, facilitated in partnership with grant making charity Hertfordshire Community Foundation, underscores Affinity Water’s commitment to addressing local needs and promoting social well-being.

The Red Shed Garden Project, based in North Herts, provides a vital lifeline to those affected by dementia by offering horticultural therapy, gardening activities, and social interaction opportunities. By fostering connections and engagement through nature-based activities, the project seeks to combat isolation and enhance the overall well-being of participants and their caregivers.

Affinity Water are providing funding towards Garden Clubs for people with a dementia diagnosis and their carers. Led by a qualified workshop leader, and supported by experienced volunteers, the clubs meet participants’ needs and abilities whilst ensuring that everyone benefits from their time at The Red Shed.

Varied activities can include garden maintenance; propagating flowers, fruit and vegetables; garden inspired arts and crafts; creating wildlife-friendly spaces and learning gardening techniques to use at home.

Through gardening The Red Shed Garden Project aims to reduce isolation and improve mental and physical wellbeing for each participant with each session including social time for interacting and building new relationships.

Liz Freitas, Inclusive Services Engagement Manager at Affinity Water said:

"Our support for The Red Shed Garden Project reflects our dedication to making a positive impact on the communities we serve. We recognise the importance of initiatives like this in addressing social isolation and improving the quality of life for individuals living with dementia."

Only 58% of people with dementia say they are living well*, and less than half of people feel a part of their community.

The voluntary and community sectors play a significant role in providing services that help older residents stay independent and connected. Befriending, lunch clubs, dementia cafes and transport schemes all play a critical role in countering social isolation.

The grant funding provided by Affinity Water and Hertfordshire Community Foundation will enable The Red Shed Garden Project to expand its services and reach more beneficiaries. These funds will support the operation of four garden clubs, offering tailored activities designed to meet the diverse needs and abilities of participants.

Anna Jarmolinska-Nowak, Sustainability Manager at Affinity Water said:

“As a purpose led organisation, partnership working and public value creation beyond water provision is part of our ambition to deliver the service customers need and value and take care of the environment.”

“The work of Hertfordshire Community Foundation (HCF) helps connect businesses like ours with small local charities and voluntary groups in need in communities where we serve.”

Affinity Water have partnered with HCF since 2002 and have since supported 27 projects and hundreds of beneficiaries in the county, with The Red Shed Project being one of them. The causes have varied greatly in the past, from Covid appeal support distributing funds to charities who lost their source of income during the pandemic, to Liberty Tea Rooms, Community Hub and Borehamwood Foodbank to help people with debt advice and cost of living crisis.

Su Harvey, CEO at The Red Shed Project said:

"We are grateful for the generous support from Affinity Water and Hertfordshire Community Foundation. With this funding, we can continue to create meaningful experiences for individuals living with dementia, promoting social inclusion and personal fulfilment."

“Our Garden Clubs are designed to build confidence, provide meaningful activity, get participants active and provide the opportunity to learn something new.”

The Red Shed Project's innovative approach has garnered recognition for its positive impact on the local community. By leveraging the therapeutic benefits of gardening and fostering a supportive environment, the project empowers individuals to lead fulfilling lives despite the challenges of dementia.

Over the past year, Affinity Water has engaged with over 10,000 customers on topics that matter most to customers, this has helped shape its enhanced affordability strategy and delivered over 212,000 proactive customer interventions, which equates to over £5.6 million in support and represents 14.1% of their customer base.

Affinity Water offer a Priority Service Register which is free to join. It helps them know who may require extra help, and look after any customers with communication, access, or health needs.

For more information about the Red Shed Garden Project and its initiatives, visit

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