We are seeking funding to build a gazebo in the college grounds which we will transform into an environmentally friendly garden with planters, hand tools and a rainwater drainage system. We want to increase our student's engagement with the community by increasing their understanding of nature and enabling them to grow their own food, which they will sell in the local café that they volunteer in and also donate to the foodbank. Volunteering at the cafe provides them with much needed life skills and work experience to help them make the transition to becoming more independent. The students will directly see the benefits of the food that they grow, as it will be sold or donated. They will gain a better understanding of growing food sustainably. The gazebo will also be used for outdoor activities by children at Chadsgrove Special School, which shares the College site and caters for children aged 2 to19 with physical disabilities and/or complex health needs.
What we'll deliver:
- A gazebo
- 20 raised planters
- A vegetable garden some areas raised for access
- Level pathways for wheelchairs and mobility challenges
- A waterbutt
- Gardening tools
Why it's a great idea:
The project gives students at the College the chance to be active outdoors in all weathers, engage with the environment and learn to grow vegetables. These are important life skills for the students and will increase their level of physical activity. The garden area will be accessible to young people who use wheelchairs, as some of the planters and vegetable plots will be raised so they can access them. While we have a rainwater drainage system that irrigates the planters, some of the beds will need watering by hand, which can be carried out by students with limited mobility. We will use waterbutt rainwater to do this. The students will learn more about the ‘circular’ nature of the food industry, help them to better understand nutrition, the source of food and to learn about sustainable methods of growing food, as we will avoid use of pesticides. The students will gain greater independence as they will choose which food to grow, sell in the café and which to give to the foodbank.
Steps to get it done:
- Building and installation of the Gazebo
- Planting the vegetable garden
- Completing the ground work and drainage work
- Preparing raised beds and planters
- Adding rainwater irrigation system