Lincolnshire Co-op digs deep to transform a school garden. 

Lincolnshire Co-operative Travel was the winner of this year’s Bourne Community Champions contest for its project to revitalise a sensory garden for a primary school and make it accessible for children with additional needs.

Volunteers from the agency joined members of Bourne Leisure’s trade sales team at Bassingham Pre-School & Treetops in Lincolnshire to transform the garden with the help of £1,000 in prize money.

Together, they built a wheelchair-friendly path using grid mats, inspired by an episode of DIY SOS; created, repaired and painted seating and a ‘bug house’; built a sandpit; relocated raised beds; and planted butterfly and bee-friendly plants to attract wildlife.

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Winning idea

Louise Moorhouse, a travel administrator at Lincolnshire Co-op, nominated her youngest son’s school for the support. She said: “They desperately needed a garden renovation. The recent bad weather had put the garden out of bounds, meaning the children could only play on a small concrete area or stay indoors. The pre-school is a charity-run organisation and it relies heavily on the support of parents and the local community to help when equipment needs renewing.

“The transformation Bourne Leisure and the Lincolnshire Co-op volunteering team has helped us achieve is amazing, and all involved with the school are so appreciative. The children now have a safe area to explore and learn in.”

Engagement advisor Rachel Ashmore added: “It was great for our colleagues to work with Bourne Leisure’s team as its Community Champion to transform the garden from an unusable, muddy space into a tranquil sensory garden for all the children to enjoy.”

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Rewarding day

Erman Housein, head of trade sales and marketing at Bourne Leisure, which operates the Haven, Butlin’s and Warner Leisure Hotels brands, added: “We’re delighted that Community Champs 2019 has been a success – it’s such a rewarding day and one the team looks forward to.

“The entry from Lincolnshire Co-operative Travel really stood out to us as an important and challenging project. We hope the children get lots of use out of the transformed outdoor space for a long time to come.”

School manager Allison Hatfield added: “We deliver provision for several children with profound complex needs, involving one-to-one care, and we now have a transformed garden with a sensory area that our children can access equally for years to come. The area looks amazing.”