Elson Junior School’s lockdown allotment to create Covid legacy
PARENTS and teachers at Elson Junior School have been using lockdown to create an allotment for the children and local community to enjoy.
The plot includes a shed and three raised beds where crops and plants can be cultivated. The wellbeing allotment project was devised to ‘provide a positive legacy of the Covid lockdown’ as well as promoting the ‘benefits to mental health of being outside and growing plants’.
The project was the idea of the school’s home link worker, Rebecca Hull and learning support assistant Suzi Hoskins.
Rebecca said: ‘During the Covid lockdown many families embraced the positive effect of time spent together outside and we want to promote and share these experiences with the wider school community.
‘We hope that all 340 children and their families will be able to feel involvement and pride in our project, whether this is by digging, planting, investigating nature, tasting produce or simply enjoying a cup of tea and a chat by the shed.’
Suzy added: ‘Despite the challenges we’ve managed to create something wonderful. This area will complement the pond and wildlife area we already have and allow the community to access our expansive grounds more freely.’
The dedicated duo had to shovel seven tonnes of soil, although they did receive help from passing members of the public. With children returning this week, headteacher Penny Shaw is looking forward to pupils soon being able to get involved with the project.
Mrs Shaw said: ‘The whole school is incredibly proud of Mrs Hull and Mrs Hoskins’ vision and dedication to our school and local community. To make this happen, particularly during these exceptionally difficult times, has been inspiring and we are all very much looking forward to the allotment progressing over the coming weeks, months and years.
‘We want it to be a lasting legacy and something that our whole community can benefit from.’
The school is awaiting a donation of horse manure from local organisation Helping Hooves and has already joined the Allotment Association and made contact with other local allotment holders. The school plan to share seedlings, visit each other’s allotment plots and ‘hopefully having a lovely outdoor resource to allow people to return to meeting up more quickly in these restricted times’.
Funding for the project was provided by the school’s Parent Teacher Association.