It was a bright sunny day in Weston when Bitterne Park school came with students and teachers to undertake the Plants for People (P4P) garden intervention programme. This aims at dealing and addressing mental health issues with a horticulture approach, this is done informal and therapeutic approach. On this bright Monday morning P4P opens its doors to a small group with learning support needs from the Bittern Park school accompanied and supported by their two teachers. The students were given an option of tasks available at hand to which they must choose accordingly. The students rationalised the options and decided that watering the raised beds plants, was the easiest task to do! As the students started off the day doing watering, the teachers decided to get involved in doing some weeding in selected raised beds the task that the students didn't want to do.
The students and teachers were shown the new redeveloped seating area which was recently developed by Southampton City Council. They all loved it but there was a question from one the student in which he asked, why does the seats look like wave? This question I couldn’t answer directly as I wasn’t part of the planning and designing team, but indirectly I told him, perhaps as Weston is close to the seaside, maybe that’s why the seats reflect the image of waves.
That was my opinion, but it seems suitable to the student because he agreed and there was no more questioning on that point, and they all agreed seating area looks better.
To round up the day, the session was successful in meeting the students’ needs, it wasn’t too intense and with marginal breaks to keep the enjoyment and the engagement intact. At the end of the session teachers and student shared the same views and feedbacks about the session which were all positive and auspicious. The teachers asked for individual feedback from myself for the student portfolio in which I provided accordingly.
If you’re a local resident or interested in volunteering in community gardening at Oslo Tower, International Way in Weston on a Tuesday morning (10am- 12.30) or any of our other sites, please contact Duncan Reade firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Sherwayne Mitchell, Plants For People Senior Support Worker.
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