Selfless Portsmouth sisters go the extra mile for Manor Infant School’s sensory garden

CHILDREN may soon be able to benefit from a new sensory garden at their school thanks to the efforts of two pupils who have raised more than £200.

Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 12:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 3:13 pm

Manor Infant School in Fratton is in the process of developing the garden to provide support for children.

This is for pupils who may have emotional and social needs, as well as an increasing number of pupils suffering from heightened anxiety as they return after lockdown.

The school is regenerating the overgrown area to now include mirrors, wind chimes, colourful plants and flowers, and animal feeders to attract wildlife.

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Evan Ayantoye, six, helps to make one of the sensory mirrors.

After seeing their school’s Facebook appeal for support with the project, selfless sisters, Kayla Thornton, seven, and Laci, four, decided to take part in a sponsored run dressed in fancy dress.

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Kayla, who ran dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast, said: ‘I wanted to do the run to help get the new garden as hopefully it can help people feel better. I’m looking forward to seeing what the garden is like when I go back to school.’

She was joined by Laci, who was dressed as a princess. After covering almost four miles across the weekend of June 20 and 21, they have so far raised £228.

(Right to left) Patti Mutswiri, Evan Ayantoye and Violet Latimer, all six, help out in the school's new sensory garden.

Their mother Michelle Povey, 31, said: ‘The school have been really supportive during lockdown and the girls wanted to give something back. I think the garden is a really good idea to help provide emotional support for the children.’

The idea for the garden came from the nurture group leader, Rebekah Austin.

She said: ‘We’ve already had both students and staff who’ve come back anxious.

‘They can either use it as a place to relax, read or take part in planting our plants or some of things we are growing like strawberries and herbs.’

It has gone down a treat with pupils.

Evan Ayantoye, six, said: ‘It's very calm out in the garden and it makes me want to lie down.’

Violet Latimer, six, added: ‘It feels quiet and calm here and we can listen to different sounds.'

Rebekah would like to further develop the garden, including a water feature. Anyone who can support the initiative is urged to contact the school.

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