Students dig in for improvements to school horticultural area
Students from a Telford secondary school have been putting their green fingers to good use, thanks to support from a local consultancy firm.
Pupils at Ercall Wood Academy, in Wellington – part of the Learning Community Trust – welcomed representatives from the WT Partnership and Waterman Structures on site as part of a project to improve their horticultural area.
The initiative was organised through WT Partnership’s charity day scheme and Ercall Wood’s Aspire Programme which offers students the chance to work in a real-life horticultural environment, developing gardening and growing skills.
It also helps students to develop key skills in team building, confidence, communication and community participation.
Tracy Jones, from the academy, said: “The Aspire Programme has been a huge success as the holistic approach to learning not only benefits the students’ skills development, but is also an important part of giving back to the community.
“Vegetables that we grow are packed into food parcels and donated to the LCT Food Hub and to students within the school.”
The LCT Food Hub at other trust schools, including Wrekin View in Wellington and Hadley Learning Community, supports local communities with food parcels and a community fridge.
The trust says it offers ‘a great deal of support to our families in our community during this economic crisis’.
Tracy added: “Students are learning about horticulture and healthy eating, and about social values and the pride that comes with growing our own produce and making a contribution to your local community.”
As part of the horticultural event, staff from WT Partnership donated materials and worked alongside Ercall Wood staff for the day.
They helped with clearing weeds, removing rotting external beds, assisted with general gardening and maintenance of the polytunnel and garden areas, prepared ground and laid weed membrane, assembled raised beds and filled both existing and new beds with planting soil, created bark walkways and paths, planted fruit trees and carried out general planting and potting.
Matthew Jones, from WT Partnerships, said: “WT is an active member of the communities in which we operate and aim at all times to be a good neighbour.
“We regularly sponsor both national and local causes, and encourage staff to become involved in fundraising, volunteering and charitable activities, giving them time off to get involved.
“We thoroughly enjoyed the experience at Ercall Wood, and it was for a very worthy cause. We’re looking forward to Ercall Wood phase three next year.”