Throughout the summer term, the Mildmay community centre and our Leaways School have collaborated on a community garden project. Children from Leaways were invited to take part in a wide range of horticulture activities including making soil mixes, creating a composting wormery and planting plenty of vegetables.
At Leaways, they supported the project by integrating nature-focussed lessons into the class curriculum. This included making ink from scratch using charcoal, collecting leaves, and using them to design and make cushion covers, and designing mythical creatures to suit different environments.
The project has been beneficial to the children in many ways, including developing social skills and confidence, giving opportunities to explore new sensory experiences, and encouraging the children to try new things and face their worries (e.g. overcoming the fear of touching insects).
Staff at the Mildmay kindly organised a fun-day for the children and their families in which children that had taken part in the project were awarded certificates of achievement and given gardening gift-bags. It was a wonderful, activity packed day that was enjoyed by all who attending, staff included. One parent commented on how special it was to have a place to socialise that wasn’t too overwhelming, and a child expressed that he felt very happy because his mum was having so much fun.
The project has been a great success and the children have requested that they attend the centre every week throughout the summer holidays and beyond! This was all made possible by the staff at the Mildmay working hard to secure a grant from the Virgin Media Together Fund.
Leaways School London is an independent specialist day school in Hackney, East London which provides education for children and young people aged from 7 to 17 who have social, emotional and mental health issues.
They support children and young people who are not able to attend a mainstream school at a certain time in their life.
Visit the school website and make sure you get in contact with the team to find out more about the fantastic Leaways School offer on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0800 024 6985.