Our students on our Winchester Campus, The Hive, are proud to launch ‘The Life Garden’, the fantastic end result of a collaborative project with Grow Wild, Kew Gardens and the Big Lottery Fund.
The Hive opened in 2015 as a Teaching centre located next to College House, offering a Developing Enterprise programme for learners with moderate learning difficulties.
Grow Wild, a national outreach project of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, encourages millions of people throughout the UK to change lives and transform natural spaces with native wildflowers and fungi; two crucial parts of the complex web of life within our natural world.
One of the community activities that Grow Wild funds is the Youth Project. The initiative, which awards funding from Grow Wild and the Big Lottery Fund to 14-25-year-olds for creative projects, allows young people the opportunity to bring their natural ideas to life. The purpose of this is ultimately to highlight the importance of UK native wildflowers, plants and/or fungi.
Wendy Rishton, a Coordinator at The Hive, came up with the idea to apply for the Youth Project. She explained:
“We submitted a short video application demonstrating our ideas and what the students wanted to achieve with our garden area. I was overjoyed when I found out we had been accepted on the project.”
The project has witnessed, as a result of the hard work and dedication of the students, a transformation from an overgrown, unloved area to a cherished wildflower space, complete with a hedgehog house, wood log seating area and a marked path.
Richard Pollard, Grow Wild England Partnership & Engagement Manager, recently joined students and tutors from The Hive, to see the fantastic results, which has now been named ‘The Life Garden’ by the students. Richard commented:
“It is really important for young people to engage with the natural world, now more than ever with the effects and impact of climate change. I have seen from today just how valuable these projects are to young people. The students have been able to develop their confidence, independence and creativity, whilst also building a greater understanding of why plants are important.”
When discussing the finished project, Wendy commented:
“The project was fantastic for the students. Not only did they learn vital skills, such as problem-solving and teamwork, they thoroughly enjoyed it as well. We are excited to build on the progress we have already made with the garden.”