Who We Are

Why ‘step change’? Because we aim to help the care sector step across the threshold and fully involve their gardens and outdoor spaces in the care they provide their residents so they can live the lives they choose.

We are Garden Designers with a background in creating gardens for therapeutic purposes. Between us, we have more than 30 years of garden design, training and project management experience, enabling us to understand and support the care sector in engaging with their outdoor spaces effectively and successfully.

Step Change DesignWith our research, into what makes gardens more effective for people living with dementia, we are uniquely positioned to support the care industry in making the cultural changes needed to step over the threshold and benefit from using the outdoors to support its residents living with dementia.

The biggest finding we made in our research  was the correlation between those homes delivering relationship-centred care were the most active in using their outside space. It’s not necessarily about the design or about the number of features you have in your garden, it’s about influencing the way you do things (your culture) to help you get the most from your outside space for your residents, staff and the wider community. Basically we believe our job now, as Garden Designers, is to help activate your people to activate your outdoor space for your residents.

We also recognise that, as Garden Designers, there needs to be a shift in the way that our colleagues work with care sector clients: putting them back in the driving seat, listening more closely to their residents’ actual needs for their outdoor spaces and working alongside them on their journey towards greater relationship-centred care.

With our research experiences and our unique diagnostic tool, the Map, we can help identify this cultural position with the home and then describe ways forward, through sequences of steps on the Map that the home can make on its journey towards greater relationship-centred care and the range of appropriate design and other support that garden designers can provide on that journey.

Profile: Debbie Carroll

Profile: Mark Rendell

There had already been positive knock-on effects of doing this exercise. Staff were noticing tiny details and were going the extra mile to engage or interact during a visit to the garden.

Care home manager, Lancashire Step Change - Garden Design 26th July 2016

I have been able to make significant changes due to rethinking and planning our outdoor provisions. We have added an outside cafe area and will be working on bringing the outdoors inside next spring.

Care home manager, Cardiff Step Change - Garden Design 26th July 2016

Thank you for all your advice.

Activities Manager, care home, Cheshire Step Change - Garden Design 26th July 2016

We will pass round the news that you have been very helpful and understanding to our needs as a care home.

Activities Coordinator, care home, Warwickshire Step Change - Garden Design 26th July 2016

Thank you for all your support.

Care home manager, Cardiff Step Change - Garden Design 26th July 2016