A sense of pride

Funding for the outdoor sensory learning experience was carried out by Foyer REACH (Recovery, Employability, Achievement, Challenge, Hope) Team 7.
Funding for the outdoor sensory learning experience was carried out by Foyer REACH (Recovery, Employability, Achievement, Challenge, Hope) Team 7.

Westfield School in Fraserburgh opened a new sensory garden at the weekend.

Funding for the ‘outdoor sensory learning experience’ was carried out by Foyer REACH (Recovery, Employability, Achievement, Challenge, Hope) Team 7.

Enjoying the outdoor experience.

Enjoying the outdoor experience.

The team undertook fundraising for the project as part of their 12-week employability programme, which is run by Aberdeen Foyer in partnership with NESCoL, Aberdeenshire Drugs Partnership and Aberdeenshire Council.

They started their programme in February this year and graduated on April 26.

As part of this they had to chose a community project and fundraise for it themselves, and they decided to support Westfield School to build a sensory garden for all pupils to benefit from.

Their first fundraiser was a soup and pudding event, held in the JIC building in March. This was followed by a prize bingo. The team also received a very generous donation of £250 from local businessman Stephen Bruce to spend in West’s Garden Centre in the Broch.

Watering fun in the new sensory garden.

Watering fun in the new sensory garden.

Their final total was £1,168.92, which along with the £250 brought the grand total to £1,418.92.

Foyer REACH team leader, Becky Neil, said: “Usually each REACH team has to complete its community project within a six-day time frame. However, after raising such an enormous amount the project grew to be much larger than they anticipated but all agreed that they would complete the project even if they had to continue working after the REACH programme had finished.

“Throughout the project the team received support from the local community, including expert landscaping advice and practical help from local businessman Malcolm Chalmers of Able Landscaping and Gardening Services, donations of chuckies from Whytestar Gardening Services and bark from Aberdeenshire Council. Without these the completion would have been impossible,” she said.

The team - George McRae, Derek Lawrie, Jon Hutcheson, Sophie Buchan, Gareth Ritchie, Jenna Wemyss, George Low, David Rennie and Diane McDonald - have expressed thanks to the school’s headteacher, Kerri Dalton, and her staff, especially janitor Mr Ferguson who gave practical support throughout the project.

“We would also like to thank local businesses for their enormous support and parents for the prizes donated for the fundraisers. This community project has shown just how much community spirit there is in Fraserburgh and it has been very humbling to be part of this,” she added.

Westfield School head teacher, Kerri Dalton, said that the school was thankful for all the hard work that had gone into the project, but most importantly the end product.

“When you have a look at the garden it looks ‘pretty’ but it isn’t until you start to explore it and look deeper that you actually see the thought that went into it and the purpose behind it.

“On behalf of everyone at Westfield I would like to thank the team who have provided this for us and a special mention for those who have offered to support its ongoing maintenance,” she added.