Working with Polli-nation

Community join together to create sensory garden project

Students at Castle Manor Academy have teamed up with the Suffolk Mind charity to develop a sensory garden project.

The innovative community partnership, which has also been supported by the Jubilee Allotment Association and People’s Health Trust, is sited on Haverhill’s Clements estate and is designed at improving wellbeing within the local community.

It has also been supported by Suffolk Community Action who are working on developing social areas on the estate.

Becky Baldwin, outdoor learning teacher at the school, said: “Castle Manor horticulture students are always happy to lend a green hand in their community.

“Our students have been learning lots about pollinators in their lessons as well as working with other schools to encourage pollinators onto school grounds.

“We were very happy to help create a pollinator-attracting border for the allotment plot as our contribution. The project is a true example of the benefits of different community groups working together.”

Additional funding for the project has come from the Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘Greening Grey Britain’ initiative to make the planting possible as well as providing horticultural sessions run by Alison Findlay from the RHS.

The allotment also includes a willow tree seat, created by local artist Liz Cooke working with Castle Manor students.

The project is coordinated locally by the Haverhill South People’s Forum who have allocated project monies for the sensory garden and who are made up of resident volunteers focused on developing aspirations, priorities and projects for and on behalf of Haverhill South.

As a community panel, members are looking to support fellow residents, voluntary groups and organisations who make a vital local contribution, and can deliver schemes to improve peoples’ health, wellbeing and quality of life.

The Suffolk Mind allotment plot is now looking for regular commitment from the local community to maintain and develop the plot further.

For more information, contact Christina Perea, Volunteer & Ecotherapy Service Manager at Suffolk Mind, on christina.perea@suffolkmind.org.uk.