Ash Cottage is a traditional mid 19th Century Irish cottage. It is situated in Co Down, Northern Ireland, on a half acre of gardens surrounded by Drumlins (oval shaped hills). People enter the cottage via the heart of the home, the kitchen. In true Irish tradition the kettle is always on the boil for teas and coffees. The Living Room is a cosy relaxing space space. The barn has been converted into a sensory playroom where there are opportunities to swing, hang, climb, bounce, crawl and hide. Emphasis is on use of play equipment that is suitable for use at home, in garden spaces and in school.
The Secret Garden
Éadaoin Bhreathnach and her husband Ray Cashell have jointly developed regulating garden spaces that are designed to activate different states of arousal from calming and nurturing, to challenging spaces. Careful consideration has been given to the regulating benefits of each activity. The Gardens provide spaces for contemplation and relaxation, a beach area and a cottage garden with plants that smell of chocolate and after eight mints. Children (and adults too) look for evidence of fairies. Children fish for tadpoles and other pond life. Adults and children can use the kayak or the currach, to row and experience floating in the pond. A panoramic view of the garden spaces and beyond to the Sliabh Croob Mountain (Mountain of the Hoof) can be seen by climbing up high into the Tree Boat. The garden has become an inspiration to others working in the field of trauma. Éadaoin and Ray have gone on to design and advise on the creation of other regulating garden spaces. The pond and the beach area have been replicated in one of the local prisons and in Haywood Grove, a SEMH school in England. Éadaoin and Ray thoroughly enjoy this new extension to the Just Right State Programme for children, adolescents and adults.