Safe in Tees Valley News

NCS Graduates complete their Sensory Garden Project with thanks to Starbucks Youth Action

Posted : 20/04/2015

Safe in Tees Valley are working in partnership with UK Youth and Starbucks to promote and support the Starbucks Youth Action Graduate Programme across North East England so that NCS Graduates can apply for funding to support their social action projects. The Starbucks Youth Action NCS Graduate Programme is funded by the Cabinet Office Youth Social Action Journey Fund to increase the number of opportunities for the growing number of NCS graduates aged 16-20 to engage in high quality social action opportunities.

Over the past 4 months Rachel (19), Katie (17) and Ibraheem (16) have worked with over 90 pupils at Sunnyside Academy, (Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough) to design and build a Sensory Garden for the whole school to enjoy, particularly those with visual/ hearing impairments. It has been designed with the purpose of stimulating the senses. This stimulation occurs courtesy of plants and the use of materials that engage one's senses of sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound.

With the help of our NCS graduates the unique design in the shape of a 'sun' was developed by the young people. They also decided which plants they would like in their garden by doing lots of research and planted them in the soil. The year 6 pupils also designed a tile each which represented them and will (in the not so near future) be stuck onto the planters to make it even more colourful/ textured. The pupils have a dedicated garden club who will ensure the upkeep of the sensory garden.

On Wednesday 15th April we held an open afternoon for pupils, teachers and parents and our local Starbucks store kindly provided refreshments. In the centre of the garden a special tree has been planted in memory of a pupil of Sunnyside School, James Marshall, and his family also attended. James' sister along with a pupil from the school who has recently been commemorated with the James Marshall Award opened the sensory garden by cutting the ribbon. Lorraine Nevison, Safe in Tees Valley's NCS Graduate Coordinator said "It was a lovely afternoon enjoyed by all and a massive well done needs to go to Rachel, Katie and Ibraheem for their hard work, dedication and commitment to this project. Without them pitching to the Starbucks Panel for 2,000 in December this project would have not taken place. This garden will benefit the whole school now and in many years to come".

Jill Patterson (Sunnyside School teacher) in the background serving the Starbucks refreshments to the pupils, teachers, parents whilst our proud 3 NCS Graduates (Katie, Rachel, Ibraheem) pose for a photograph.

Pupils, parents and teachers enjoying the sensory garden at the grand opening on 15th April 2015.


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