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Co-op gardening kits and lessons help youngsters and community groups in Bourne spring into green-fingered action





Gardening kits donated to schools and community groups by a supermarket have proved a hit in promoting green fingered activities.

Co-op worker Jenny Bolland, based in Bourne and Colsterworth, invited 12 groups to participate in gardening sessions, providing tool kits that benefitted pupils studying science and computing.

The project saw Bourne Westfield Primary Academy, Bourne Abbey Primary Academy, Elsea Park Primary Academy, Thurlby Community Primary Academy and the Community Garden at the Butterfield Centre in Bourne getting involved.

Co-op gardening kits are provided to schools and community groups to help learn about the benefits of gardening. PHOTO: SUBMITTED
Co-op gardening kits are provided to schools and community groups to help learn about the benefits of gardening. PHOTO: SUBMITTED

Ms Bolland said: “My role is to reach out to local charities and bring about a community cohesion with support from Co-op.

“I visited Bourne Westfield to see how successful their gardening skills were and sat in their Year 1 classes and spoke with the pupils.

“Their enthusiasm was overflowing showing their cress that was already four centimeters tall and speaking about compost, oxygen and sunlight being essential to growth.”

Bourne Westfield Primary Academy pupils grew cress seeds in class. PHOTO: SUBMITTED
Bourne Westfield Primary Academy pupils grew cress seeds in class. PHOTO: SUBMITTED

The Community Garden joined in with the gardening fun to encourage more volunteers to help them grow produce for their Community Pantry, seed packet swapping, helping families with food supplies and to reduce food waste.

School pupils were able to link the gardening experience with their science curriculum and computer learning by sequencing steps to grow a plant.

Emily Needham, Year 1 teacher Bourne Westfield, said: "It has been fantastic for the children to have the opportunity to grow cress and observe its growth whilst covering plants in science.

Children at 1 Hub Bourne planting seeds. PHOTO: SUBMITTED
Children at 1 Hub Bourne planting seeds. PHOTO: SUBMITTED

“The children loved using the different gardening tools when planting their cress and were really excited when it started growing.”

Wake House in Bourne hosts a dementia support group and used the kit to plant cress seeds in order to create dialogue, a dexterity task and to stimulate gardening memories.

Beaver groups and youth club members from Bourne had a fantastic time planting cress seeds, sharing their knowledge of photosynthesis, learning gardening words and phrases and working together as a team.

Thurlby Community Primary Academy pupils learn new gardening skills. PHOTO: SUBMITTED
Thurlby Community Primary Academy pupils learn new gardening skills. PHOTO: SUBMITTED

Eleanor Francombe from Bourne Abbey C of E Primary Academy said: “Thank you so much to the Co-op for donating these amazing gardening kits to our school.

“The children had so much fun planting their cress seeds and can’t wait to see them grow.

“We linked the planting to our computing learning to sequence the steps needed to grow a plant and the activity inspired lots of budding gardeners.”

Bourne Abbey C of E Primary Academy pupil fills up a plant pot with compost. PHOTO: SUBMITTED
Bourne Abbey C of E Primary Academy pupil fills up a plant pot with compost. PHOTO: SUBMITTED

Youth centre learners learnt about gardening by painting stones and pebbles that can be used as paper weights or gifts which will be displayed in the Elsea Park Co-op store.

Customers can purchase these in store by donating money to go towards the Co-op’s chosen charity, Barnardo’s.

Bourne Abbey C of E Primary Academy mud kitchen. PHOTO: SUBMITTED
Bourne Abbey C of E Primary Academy mud kitchen. PHOTO: SUBMITTED

Thurlby Tots and Toddlers rolled up their sleeves to feel the compost and plant sunflower and cress seeds and Bourne Baptist Church Toddle In Group also had the gardening kit.

The activities allowed the little ones to explore textures and to introduce them to gardening.

Ms Bolland said: “Pictures were displayed to show how the seeds would grow and the tots sprayed the compost with water and placed them on a ledge in the sun.

Bourne Abbey C of E Primary Academy pupil using a tool from the gardening kit to flatten the soil. PHOTO: SUBMITTED
Bourne Abbey C of E Primary Academy pupil using a tool from the gardening kit to flatten the soil. PHOTO: SUBMITTED

“These Co-op gardening activities have proved popular, working collaboratively, making friends and introducing new hobbies.

“Other benefits from gardening include eating the healthy freshly grown produce, boosting our vitamin D being outdoors in sunlight, better sleep from physical activity, boosting self-esteem and actively introducing positive behaviour to reduce negative thoughts.”

Bourne Abbey C of E Primary Academy pupil uses the tools provided by Co-op. PHOTO: SUBMITTED
Bourne Abbey C of E Primary Academy pupil uses the tools provided by Co-op. PHOTO: SUBMITTED
Bourne Abbey C of E Primary Academy pupil gets stuck in with some gardening. PHOTO: SUBMITTED
Bourne Abbey C of E Primary Academy pupil gets stuck in with some gardening. PHOTO: SUBMITTED
Clare and Maggie at the Butterifld Centre community garden in Bourne with Jenny Bolland from Co-op. PHOTO: SUBMITTED
Clare and Maggie at the Butterifld Centre community garden in Bourne with Jenny Bolland from Co-op. PHOTO: SUBMITTED
Bourne Westfield Primary Academy pupils grew cress seeds in class. PHOTO: SUBMITTED
Bourne Westfield Primary Academy pupils grew cress seeds in class. PHOTO: SUBMITTED
Bourne Abbey C of E Primary Academy pupil gardening outside in their mud kitchen. PHOTO: SUBMITTED
Bourne Abbey C of E Primary Academy pupil gardening outside in their mud kitchen. PHOTO: SUBMITTED

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