In 2019, some Foundation learners at East Coast College decided to run a fruit and vegetable delivery service to benefit the college community and encourage a healthier diet. This helped the environment because fewer journeys to supermarkets were required, and people ate more fruit and vegetables. The students offered healthy recipe suggestions when they delivered the fruit and vegetables. As a result, the Enterprise group won a Silver Roots & Shoots Award.
In the same year it was decided that a Wellbeing Garden should be developed at the Lowestoft campus of East Coast College. The idea involved growing plants that attract pollinators and planting fruit trees so that people can relax and eat a piece of fruit.
The students were helped by an award of £250 from the Roots & Shoots/Disney Grant and the following items were bought: apple trees, plum tree, cherry tree, Echinacea plants, asters and lavender. There is still some money left and plans are underfoot to buy a water feature that will help people to relax and also some sandpaper and paint to upcycle a table and chairs.
This idea alongside the growing of fruit and vegetable plants and bedding plants for a plant stall enabled the Enterprise course to be nominated for a Gold Roots & Shoots Award in 2021.
The students thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the virtual awards ceremony and were lucky enough to see Dr Jane Goodall herself online!
This year, the Enterprise students have continued to work on the two projects, but in addition they have been doing some work experience in the gardens of a local stately home, Somerleyton Hall.
You can read more on the East Coast College activities here
They have re-potted plants such as salvia and they have been learning to use rakes and grabbers to clear leaves. They came face to face with a duck called Daphne and found a wonderful green snail whose colours were very bright and attractive.
Pathways group 1 are making Christmas trees from reclaimed wood and selling these within the college community. Pathways group 2 are making bird boxes from wood. The preparation group is upcycling old Christmas decorations to make useful things and Enterprise group 2 is making a hedgehog house to add to the wellbeing garden. They intend to buy some hedgehog food when the house is completed.
The wider college community is also involved in the wellbeing garden. Students have started to do gardening as an enrichment project and staff members have volunteered to do some digging.
Sustainability and climate change is being taught in tutorials throughout the college. Jane has been a huge inspiration and all of these projects and sessions have grown from tiny seeds until many members of the college community have become involved in a drive to improve the environment.