Colnbrook School has new outdoor space thanks to local volunteers

A group of local volunteers have improved the sensory garden and growing area at Colnbrook School, whilst improving their own job prospects.

The volunteers took part in the Green Team, an employment and skills project run by community charity Groundwork East and funded by Hertfordshire Community Foundation, Locality Budget scheme, Friends of Colnbrook and the community funding scheme.

Over the last eight weeks, the Green Teamers have learnt hard and soft landscaping skills, which they have put to good use by creating a new wheelchair accessible path around the garden, replaced the entrance gate and fencing in addition to creating several new planting areas. This gives the pupils a safer and more accessible area outside to improve the attainment and engagement of pupils through an enriched learning environment. This supports the development of skills for life and transition to adulthood, helping pupils to reach their greatest potential.

On top of all the valuable practical experience, the participants have worked towards a qualification in Practical Horticulture which will help boost their employment prospects. They have all seen the benefit of their work and therefore gained confidence in their own abilities.

Matt Sutcliffe, Groundwork’s Employment Project Tutor, said

“It was great to transform an overgrown area into a space that will be well used and enjoyed by the pupils. The group of volunteers have been a pleasure to work with as they were extremely hard working. Congratulations Green Team!”

Caroline Aplin at Colnbrook School, said

 “The team have worked so hard to transform the outside learning space beyond what we thought was imaginable. The children benefit so much from the garden. This inclusive garden will provide opportunities for many children for many years to come. In the words of one of the children – ‘wow!’”

On 11 September 2019 the participants were presented with their certificates by James Newell, Executive Director for Groundwork East.