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.


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.”


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.”