A team of 12 students from St Matthias School in Wolverhampton have spent the last three months designing a new garden on school grounds that will transform an unused caretakers area into a calming space for mindfulness and reflection.
Engaged in a mentoring programme created by GRAHAM, the lead contractor on the nearby i9 development, the students competed in teams to design a new garden for the school.
Over the course of the programme the students were assigned different project management roles and given project design books, handouts, and a clear project brief to work to. This was combined with site visits to the garden itself so the students could visualise the end result more clearly.
As part of the brief, each team had to incorporate at least two ideas to attract birds, bees, and butterflies to the garden while encouraging the pollination of plants. They were also expected to incorporate sustainable thinking and make use of existing items.
A final, winning design was selected and built by the students during half term, with the help of GRAHAM and its supply chain partners who sourced design materials and volunteers to support with the creation of the new garden.
Ronan Hughes, Regional Director said:
“We are constantly looking at ways to engage with local communities through the work we do – we’re often working from these locations for many months at a time, so looking at other ways we can add value is important to us.
“We have been so impressed by the passion and dedication demonstrated by the students at St Matthias School who came together to create a beautiful, new garden space. After months of hard work, their vision will become a reality and the important, lifelong skills learned around re-use, sustainability, and teamwork will live on and leave an important mark on us all.
“We would like to thank our supply chain for their support and involvement in this project, namely, Varla Cladding Ltd, Traad Nurseries Ltd, Newtownstewart Construction UK Ltd, P&A Group, Pedlow Engineering Ltd and Manstal Ltd.”
Rebecca Neath, Careers Leader at St Matthias said:
“The garden project was a unique opportunity for the school and its students to be creative and work on something from beginning to end. From starting out with a project brief, coming up with design concepts, and then seeing the completed project brought to life, it has been an invaluable and enjoyable experience.
“GRAHAM was encouraging and supportive throughout the lifespan of the project, making the experience a really positive one for the students and whole school community.”
One student commented: “It was great to put our creative skills to play and see the final outcome of the project. We really enjoyed playing the different roles and jobs of construction and putting our ideas into a real-life project.”