Fairfield High School’s inspirational visit from Sue Mountstevens

thumbnail_Sue MountstevensStudents at Fairfield High School have shared their vision for a community garden with the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens.

The secondary school in Horfield was awarded a £9,500 Awards for All grant from the Big Lottery Fund to develop a little-used grassed space for the benefit of students and people living in the neighbourhood.

The idea is that by working together to grow organic fruit and vegetables families will gain health benefits as well as feeling more of a sense of belonging. The area surrounding the school includes many properties that don’t have gardens and many of the people living there are from minority ethnic backgrounds.

Ms Mountstevens visited FHS, which has a strong reputation for building community cohesion, in June, and spoke to members of the school’s Nature Club about their plans to involve parents and members of the wider community, including residents with gardening expertise.

Science teacher Scott Mears said the project was an excellent opportunity to bring together people of varying ages and cultures.

The students intend the garden to have braille signage, wheelchair friendly paths and installations for the hearing impaired such as particular plants to heighten the senses, so that it will be accessible to all.

“Our students are very enthusiastic about the community garden and have some great ideas about what they can plant. Eventually, they intend to cook the veg they have grown,” he said.

Head of School Nick Lewis added: “We were delighted to have the chance to show Ms Mountstevens the many potential benefits of this project in our inner-city neighbourhood.

“We have some fantastic volunteers coming forward from the community but would love to hear from any gardening or cookery experts or groups who might be able to help us develop this further.”