By Ian Huddleston, Community Organiser
Following conversations with the head teacher at Dinnington High with getting the community boxing group into school as an afterschool club, we also discussed the idea of getting the young people of the school more interactive with the community and doing things a bit differently.
We spoke about their school garden, and that they had wanted to get something going with it for a while, but had no knowledge of how to do this, no funding, and the garden had just been left to get overgrown. I floated the idea of Rotherham Federation potentially helping get things up and running, which the school were very keen on, and running this with some of their students.
There has been a long-standing issue in Dinnington for young people having nothing to do, and the big issue of antisocial behaviour in the area. This is also being reflected in school, with more and more students being left out of mainstream lessons and falling down the cracks, unable to get the skills they need to get their grades and feel part of and participate fully in their communities.
This project would benefit the young people of Dinnington, giving them a skill and knowledge of growing veg, and maintaining a garden. Many of the students involved are on the outside of the school’s main curriculum, so this will give them responsibility, something to take ownership of and life skills be proud of.
We put together a plan and a timeline for clearing the raised bed with the students, and for the starting to prepare them for growing veg in the new year and arranged to go up and start the clearing of the garden with the students.
This started in November, the students worked hard and were keen to get the raised beds cleared, prepared and ready so they could decide which fruit & veg they wanted to grow.
Rotherham Federation will run a workshop with the students on the different kind of fruit & veg they can grow, and how to maintain, so they can plan what they want to do. We will also support the school and students one day per month to help continue this project and give them the skills & knowledge they need to be able to take this on and run it for themselves and pass on their knowledge to other students and staff members.