Funding helps Horwich School sow seeds for a healthy future

Posted in: Community Last updated: 16 Sep 2013

Pupils at Horwich Parish Church of England School are set to get healthy in the great outdoors thanks to a funding boost which will allow for the creation of an outdoor classroom.

Brainchild of teacher Leo Magilton, the school is creating an area where teachers can take lessons outside, teach pupils how to grow their own fruit and veg and educate them about the importance of eating healthily.

The school has been given council land to convert however, it needs much work to make it fit for purpose and funding shortfalls have meant slow progress. Now, thanks to financial support from Yorkshire-based Engage Mutual the makeover is set to step up a gear.

Mrs Anne Nightingale, parent-governor, chair of the school’s parent teacher association, and Engage Mutual customer signed up to the mutual’s ‘engage with your community’ customer initiative and was successful in gaining funding for the project.

The school will receive £5,000 to put towards the makeover which includes clearing the land, installation of security fencing and purchasing of equipment. Thanks to the mutual’s support, work will be completed by October, much earlier than expected, meaning more pupils will benefit from the facility.

As well as providing somewhere for pupils to learn about the importance of healthy eating, the outdoor learning zone will also free up classroom space within the school which is currently at a premium.

Horwich Parish CE School is one of six successful community projects chosen to receive funding of up to £5,000, from a range of UK-wide applications submitted by Engage Mutual customers.

Speaking of the funding Mrs Nightingale said, “The outdoor learning zone will be a great benefit, providing  somewhere for pupils to grow their own vegetables and learn about healthy eating while the extra space will help to relieve some of the stress on the busy classrooms.

“Support from Engage Mutual is invaluable as our own fundraising has only taken us so far. It means we can get the area ready to use this school year, something we didn’t think possible.”

It is not just the pupils who are set to benefit from the new space but the whole community, with the plan to give different groups given their own vegetable plots. Any excess crop grown by the pupils will be distributed across the area or given to charity.

The ‘engage with your community’ initiative is open to all customers of Engage Mutual supporting those who are regularly involved with a good cause or community initiative. This year customers are able to vote for three further community projects to receive funding.

James Ogden, community activation manager at Engage Mutual, adds, “Teaching children about healthy eating from a young age is really important, and to be able to provide them with a space to grow their own fruit and veg will be an invaluable resource.

“I’m delighted that Engage Mutual can make a positive contribution to Mrs Nightingale’s project which will benefit the lives of so many long in to the future.”