Kirton in Lindsey school give derelict space a new lease of life with a sensory garden
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The project at Huntcliff School, led by additional needs teacher Tracy Collier-Murphy, was made possible by a huge community effort over the last 18 months.
The space had been occupied by a disused mobile classroom until 2021 and since then it has been derelict.
Tracy said: “I asked if I could make a sensory garden out of it and got the green light.
“We’ve involved the children with special needs at every stage.
“If they took ownership, I knew they would respect it. We discussed what it might look like and what they would like to see in it.
“They made a model and a colleague put a post out on Facebook appealing for support.”
Former student and builder Dave Capell answered the call.
Dave, who left Huntcliff in 1979, said: “I’ve just loved being involved. I’ve been self employed as a builder since I was 19 and built a successful business.
“It’s just nice to give a little bit back.
“I just think there are so many problems to deal with in life and if these kids with SEN can chill out in a nice area like this, it can be nothing but helpful to them.”
Interim headteacher, Adam Edwards, congratulated everybody involved in the project.
He said: “A clean, beautiful, tranquil space has been created out of what was an eyesore.
“It is now available to be used and I’m sure will become a popular space with children and staff.”
The project also won a first prize in the Lincolnshire Show’s Schools’ Challenge project.
Rosie Crust, Lincolnshire Agricultural Society education development manager, said: “They worked with the community to create it and their presentation to judges was excellent.
“What a transformation. It is wonderful that it is a sensory garden and beneficial to mental health.”
Trees, bushes, vegetables and herbs are being grown in the space and there is also a water feature, large decking area, planters that double as seats and children’s artwork adorns the walls.