Families raise £15k for garden revamp

PARENTS teachers and pupils came together to raise more than £15,000 to regenerate a memorial garden at a Mangotsfield school.

Aimee’s Garden was created in 2009 as a memorial to a young pupil of Mangotsfield Primary School who passed away aged just five.

After more than a decade of use the garden needed attention and the school’s Parent Teacher Association took on the task of raising money to fund a project to transform it into a sensory garden for use as a calm area.

PTA secretary Nina Sharp said: “As a committee we regularly donate to the school throughout the year, for new book bags, breakfast during SATs week and leavers gifts.

“However we really wanted to fund a significant project that would benefit all children throughout the school, for years to come.

“We decided that this project was a perfect fit for our PTA and something that we felt passionate about creating.”

The PTA staged events including a summer fair, discos, film nights and quiz nights to raise the funds, and worked with a design company to create the new garden, with Elmwood Nursery and Iron Acton Garden Centre donating plants.

Nina said: “This space can be used by all children as a safe and calm area.

“We wanted this project to have a link to the importance of young people’s well-being and mental health.

“We really feel that this space has given the children of Mangotsfield Primary School an environment to feel calm and reflective.

“We have incorporated a number of sensory aspects in this garden to help ground young people when they may feel overwhelmed. These include a multi textured footpath, a variety of different herbs, a tall bamboo corner and musical chimes. 

“We could not have achieved this without the support of the school community and our friends and families.”

The school held an opening ceremony for the new garden in April.

School deputy head Sam Peplow said: “Aimee’s Garden is a space in our school that holds huge significance for our school community.

“We are grateful to our PTA for their fundraising in order to transform the garden into a space we are proud of and that reflects its importance to us.

“It has been wonderful seeing our learners engage with the area since its opening in April and we look forward to future learners sharing in our memory of Aimee.”