Led by HGT Trustee, Jill Walmsley, the Trust is currently working on a project at Woodlands Education Centre, Leigh Park, Havant, formerly known as a Pupil Referral Unit, in collaboration with the Hampshire Cultural Trust on its four-year arts intervention project for vulnerable young people, ‘Horizon 20:20’, funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
In July, HGT became involved with a brief to provide summer colour for terracotta pots which had been decorated by the students, and to make an impact on the neglected raised beds – all of which was aimed at encouraging engagement by the students in the outdoor space. Bedding plants were bought with money raised from a visit by the Hampshire, Wiltshire and Berkshire gardening group to Bentworth Lodge, the home of our former Chairman, Peter Andreae and his wife Rosemary. The terracotta pots were successfully planted up with colourful flowers and though it is not always easy to engage with the students, it is anticipated that with more contact they will become increasingly involved.”
Cat Cooke, Cultural Engagement Coordinator (Horizon 20:20) Hampshire Cultural Trust, says: “Students are referred to Woodlands Education Centre, a Pupil Referral Unit, either because they have been excluded or can no longer cope with mainstream schools. The students can have either behavioural issues, are emotionally vulnerable (including dealing with trauma), or medically unwell. Jill and Ann made a huge difference in a short amount of time and both the teachers and students are looking forward to them coming again. Some of the students have really taken to gardening already with one student becoming a ‘watering monitor’!
It is really appreciated having Hampshire Gardens Trust on board to work with the Centre to make the most out of their lovely outdoor space and also give the students the opportunity to engage positively with it.”