Greenwood Community: Chichester College SEND Foundation
Supporting local students in developing a garden of their own
In June, as part of our Greenwood Community scheme, we made a donation to the Chichester College SEND Foundation. The SEND Foundation teaches its students valuable skills and offers them support in a number of ways, to help them gain employment and live independently. Here at Greenwood, the college is particularly special to us, as one of our employees, Anna Tatarczak, has a daughter who attends the school.
The garden and workshop have both been designed, created and built by the students themselves, encouraging team building and a sense of ownership, teaching the students responsibility. They’ve created their own plant beds, including several raised beds, installed their own wheelchair accessible paths, as well as the on-site workshop. Not only this, but constant improvements are made to the area, and the students maintain it themselves, ensuring it is an enjoyable space to work and rest.
Before the donation, there were only a few established trees in the area, with no other significant plant life to speak of. The plants Greenwood donated have now been used to create much greater interest in the garden, resulting in a significant transformation of the green space. The plants donated were a mix of shrubs including Hebe, Hydrangea, Osmanthus and Cistus as well as mixed herbaceous perennials including Bergenia and Sedum. These plants all have low maintenance requirements and are able to thrive in various garden conditions. They feature attractive foliage and flowers, and in addition to their aesthetic appeal, they attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Encouraging wildlife into the garden at the Chichester College adds to its value and interest, also helping to encourage biodiversity in the local area. We attempt to vary the plants we donate, based on their intended planting location and hope they continue to thrive.
Roger Curwen manages the garden alongside the students.
“They all love the garden they have created, it is very therapeutic, and is teaching them a wide range of useful skills.
“It is a very exciting prospect that our Foundation Programmes’ garden will be transformed into a beautiful, varied and vibrant area by Greenwood’s generosity, kindness and expertise.”
Kevin Merritt, our Greenwood Choice Manager, went to visit the Chichester College on 16th October to see how the plants had been used.
“seeing the garden, meeting the enthusiastic students and learning of their roles in the garden, really confirmed the value of our plant donation.” Kevin said of his visit.
The donation was further boosted recently with the delivery of some more plants, to help continue the garden’s development. Included in this were a few varieties of Hebe to place into the raised bed, as well as a number of Carex grasses to be planted along the border of the garden.
The students have worked extremely hard, and produced a wonderful outdoor space for themselves and future students to enjoy. Despite this, there is still potential for improvement in certain areas, and so Greenwood have committed to making an additional plant donation in the future, to support the students in further enhancing the development of their garden.
Helping our local communities is a priority to us, and we are proud of the many projects we’ve helped so far. Check out our Greenwood Community page for more information on our community initiatives: https://greenwoodplants.co.uk/greenwood-community/