Sessional work for schools and community organisations offers the chance to support ongoing projects which need some help getting started or developing. In this capacity we have supported groups from primary schools to a women’s refuge; housing associations to allotment projects. The support could take the form of helping with funding bids, running one off workshops or regular sessions.
We are currently working with The Magic Garden project based at Brighton’s Lower Roedale Allotments. This is an outreach project run by and for parents and carers of disabled children. Active since May this year, we have been erecting a polytunnel, clearing the site of weeds and getting crops growing in their place. The project provides the chance for stressed parents and carers to take some time out and talk with others in the same position in a beautiful and informal setting.
We are also working with Affinity Sutton housing association on their Cultiv8 project, trying to work with residents to improve their immediate environments, help them acquire skills and get them outdoors and active. Recent projects I have undertaken with then are installing accessible raised beds in day centres for older people and supporting growing sessions with them and working with a group of residents to create a community garden in a plot of unused land behind their flats.
Anna has been running the after school gardening club at St Bartholomew’s for several years. She has worked with children and parents to transform a neglected corner of the school grounds into a thriving garden which can now be used by all classes. The children love attending gardening club and have proudly eaten some of their own produce. Parents are very supportive and often join in with the gardening sessions. Anna has a lovely manner with the children and we really enjoy working with her.
Amanda Healey, Headteacher, St Bartholomew’s CE Primary School, Brighton.