Green Fingered FFT Staff Transform Neglected Plot into Sensory Garden at Riverside School
11 July 2022
Our 20th anniversary Twenty for Twenty programme continues to keep on giving, with a 10-strong team of FFT staff recently having picked up tools and donned gardening gloves to transform a neglected plot at Riverside School into a valuable sensory garden for pupils.
As part of the Twenty for Twenty programme, all FFT staff are given two working days a year to spend on a volunteering project. Luckily for Riverside School in Orpington, Kent, some of those days were given over to getting stuck in to transform a highly overgrown and neglected plot into a sensory garden.
Riverside School is a supportive place for pupils with special educational needs. The newly rejuvenated garden will provide sensory stimulation, promote physical activity, reflection and participation, and help to create a sense of community amongst the children.
FFT staff were faced with quite a hard day’s graft, with walkways to jet wash and plenty of overgrowth to clear and several wooden flower beds to strip back, sand down and stain before replanting. But they were brimming with enthusiasm as they got their hands dirty, completing tasks that would make Alan Titchmarsh proud.
By the end of the day, not only had the team created a beautiful garden, they’d also planted a brand new vegetable patch for the school’s pupils to tend to and use the produce in their community café, the Riverside Lounge.
Twenty for Twenty People Skills Development theme ambassador and Senior Associate Shane Jeeves was delighted to see FFT’s relationship with Riverside School continuing, following the practice’s previous donation of tablet devices, and support for the opening of the Riverside Lounge.
“It’s always a pleasure to work with Riverside School and we’re so happy to continue our longstanding relationship by helping create the sensory garden in this our very first ‘staff get involved day’.
Other FFT volunteers commented Alex Ashkettle “The whole experience was very rewarding as you could see how much the restored sensory garden would now benefit the children of Riverside School ”
Reese “It was was so much fun, it feels really good to get involved in a project like this where we can make a difference in the children’s lives, and I really appreciate that the company allows us to do things like this. It was also so lovely to be able to talk and get to know people that you wouldn’t usually interact with at work”.
Michael Luttners Tickner MSc “Being able to be part of the team who collectively worked towards this amazing transformation is something we should all be proud of; it definitely made the aches and pains that followed that much better!”
Thank you to everyone from FFT that volunteered.