A new sensory garden and children’s play area is being created in Paisley thanks to funding from Renfrewshire Council’s Community Climate Fund.

Renfrewshire charity Finding your Feet has been awarded £3,000 to transform a disused piece of land into a thriving garden and play area for the local community – and work is already underway.

Staff, volunteers and beneficiaries are clearing the land behind St James House before planting flowers, plants and trees, as well as introducing seating areas and an outdoor children’s accessible play area.

Once completed, the garden will provide nature walks and gardening for the local community, with beekeeping on the agenda too as biodiversity flourishes.

Finding Your Feet founder Cor Hutton has been helping to transform the garden and can’t wait to see it come to fruition.

Cor said: “As a charity, we’re proud to be part of the community in Renfrewshire and the support from the council only strengthens that bond as this project wouldn’t have been able to take place without such support.

“We’re dedicated to supporting people in the area who have lost limbs or have been born with limb absence and this new garden will provide a safe, welcoming, sensory outdoor space in Paisley for everyone to use.

“Repurposing the plot of land will see it change from a wasted space to an area filled with flowers, plants, and trees, and our staff, volunteers and beneficiaries will keep it thriving through regular maintenance and addition.

“We’re hopeful our efforts will have a positive impact on local wildlife, help to tackle climate change in Renfrewshire, as well as encourage others to create their own garden space no matter the location.”

The Community Climate Fund awarded grants of up to £3,000 to community organisations to develop localised, green projects and initiatives tailored to their communities’ needs.

Its purpose is to support community organisations whose initiatives align with the Council’s drive to work towards net zero In Renfrewshire by 2030 and to make our communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

Councillor Jim Paterson, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Planning and Climate Change Policy Board, said: “It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm from local groups in applying to our Community Climate Fund and Finding Your Feet’s sensory garden is one of 18 fantastic projects that have been funded.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the garden completed as it will provide a safe, welcoming place for our local community members, as well as having a positive impact on our environment.

“Climate change is a key priority of the council, and we’ll continue to work closely with communities to try and provide the support they need to make positive changes in Renfrewshire – and the Community Climate Fund is one of many great initiatives we’ve created so far.”

Renfrewshire Council recently launched the first phase of its Plan for Net Zero which focuses on five key themes as it strives to reach its ambitious emissions target for the area – clean energy, sustainable transport, circular economy, connected communities and resilient place.

The plan was created by engaging with local residents through a survey and the newly created Climate Panel; surveying businesses; and engaging with partners, stakeholders and COP26 ambassadors to ensure that the design and delivery of the plan was a collaborative approach.

As an organisation, the council has already committed £1million to its Climate Change Action Fund which is funding innovative projects and initiatives developed in response to the climate emergency.

Projects currently underway include £100,000 for net zero business grants to support local businesses to reduce their emissions and £258,000 for electric replacements of vehicles in the council fleet.

For more information on Renfrewshire’s Ren Zero campaign, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/climatechange