HMP & YOI Grampian - School Garden

Late last year, the pupil council of Burnhaven Primary school wrote to HMP Grampian in the hope that the prisoners might be able to help them develop their garden.

In response to their letter, Rozanne McCurrach, Head of Activities  got in touch with their Head Teacher Mrs Mellin who provided some insight into their hopes to develop an under used area of the school grounds, which was currently inaccessible to the pupils due to the ground being uneven and unsafe for them to play on.

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Mrs Mellin explained that the children would greatly benefit from a planned garden and structured play area which would allow them to be involved in growing vegetable and flowers which would not only brighten and tidy the school grounds, but would also provide an outside learning environment for the pupils to explore science, gardening, the environment and other related subjects.

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Mrs Mellin came into the prison to meet with Neil MacNaughton and Ray Rucroft from the “Grounds and Gardens” workshop who listened to her plans for the area and provided some suggestions of the type of equipment that the prisoners might be able to help with.

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As a result on Friday 13th May 2016, Neil and Ray were delighted to formally hand over large vegetable planters, small planters for a “sensory garden”, a hexagonal bench and planters as a centre piece for the path network, a bug habitat, a large tool storage box, 3 benches (one of which is a special “Buddy Bench”) and 2 tall Trough Planters.

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The school held a special assembly where some pupils presented a plan of the area for development and described how the donated goods from the prison would help them to achieve their goal.

Following the assembly, staff and pupils came out to the playground to see the items and to formally thank the prison for its contribution.

Ray and Neil helped selected pupils to plant up the first trough planter with some bedding plants which immediately improved the look of the area it was situated in.

Mrs Mellin said that the school and the children were hugely grateful for the donations and that they couldn’t have done it without the support of the prison.

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