Trust Links has excellent links with local schools and always welcome contact from schools and care providers for young people to find out about our work and how we can help nurture local children.
Growing Together Westcliff regularly hosted groups of children from Milton Hall Primary School who came to the garden to learn about nature, wildlife and growing food.
Milton Hall Primary School piloted the Growing Together Schools Programme in Summer Term 2012. A small group of pupils from Year 6 visited one day per week with their teacher and Learning Support Assistant and worked with a member of Growing Together staff with horticultural knowledge and experience of support work.
The programme was a huge success and had such a significant impact on the children that the school continued to commission the programme in subsequent terms with a new group of Year 6 pupils each term.
The programme offers an opportunity for children who are having difficulty engaging with more formal education. It provides positive vocational activities, away from the classroom and without the usual expectations of sitting quietly and listening, not doing. It is ideally suited to an alternative education programme for children experiencing challenges to thriving in mainstream education.
The Growing Together Schools Programme draws on the Forest Schools and Nurture Group models to deliver specialist nurturing provision to children, enabling them to engage with the natural environment, work together in a small unit and develop constructive relationships and behaviour.
There is a strong body of evidence to confirm that therapeutic gardening and being with nature supports wellbeing, with positive effects on self-esteem and mood as well as physical health benefit.
Over the years, we have run very successful projects with children and young people including work with Special Schools, young offenders and the Prince’s Trust, although we do not currently receive funding to support under 18s.
We are always happy to work with schools and colleges. If you feel your school or students would benefit from visiting our Growing Together Garden, please contact the office on the number or email address below.