13 November 2018

Green-fingered volunteers dig deep to bring allot-of joy to Erdington children

Top of the crops! Budding gardeners at Brookvale Primary School are reaping the rewards of their new allotment – thanks to generous volunteers who created a green space for children to grow their own plants and vegetables.

Staff from JLL property consultants teamed up with leading environmental charity, Groundwork West Midlands, to donate time and resources to renovate a garden at the school.

More than 24 volunteers worked tirelessly over two days to transform a once neglected area into a fresh, clean and inviting space, where members of the school’s popular gardening club can now grow an array of produce.

The volunteers cleared overgrown areas, painted sheds and fences, installed bird boxes and baths, repaired raised planter beds and even installed a new green house.

Led by Mrs Hobbs, the gardening club runs two weekly after school sessions. The project was launched by gardening legend Alan Titchmarsh, who visited the school last year and gave pupils some top gardening tips. So far, the children have planted a variety of vegetables and bulbs, including garlic, cabbages, daffodils and snowdrops, while peas and beans are growing in the green house.

Anna Trigg, acting associate Headteacher at Brookvale, said:

What an amazing space! We’re all thrilled with our new allotment and the children are absolutely loving gardening and outdoor learning. Brookvale is committed to being a healthy and happy school.  We aim to equip children with the life skills to be self-sufficient, to cultivate and harvest their own produce, to prepare simple, nutritious meals and to share the benefits of healthy living with their families and wider community.

She added:

The amazing volunteers have transformed our school and we thank them wholeheartedly for donating their time and resources to give back to the community. We’d like to thank them again for their support and for making a difference to children’s lives.”

Alexander Jones, community project officer at Groundwork West Midlands, said: “The staff from JLL worked incredibly hard over both days to create an area that both staff and pupils at the school can get closer to nature, learn new skills and enjoy for years to come.

Sam Carney, surveyor from JLL, who attended the sessions, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to support Groundwork West Midlands on this project and to see the difference made to a primary school that is local to our office in Birmingham.”

Pegasus Grab Hire of Stourbridge donated five tonnes of topsoil and gravel.

PR manager, Naomi Endres, said: “We are all for supporting our local community so jumped at the chance to help out on this project. The garden has been transformed and we are so pleased that we could help with the materials.

“It’s all for such a good cause and we hope the children love their new garden and can discover more about the environment in a safe and educational place.”

 Launching the scheme last year, Alan Titchmarsh said: “It’s a real pleasure to be able to support the children with this fantastic initiative that teaches young people about nature, lifecycles and sustainable living. It’s wonderful to grow your own food and dig in to some wholesome meals as nature intended.

“It’s essential that we pass on these life skills to future generations so that they can develop that love of gardening and nutrition from an early age and enjoy healthy, active lifestyles.”