The sun was shining when we reached Grapes Hill Community Garden, and met our hosts Jo and Richard. This was particularly lucky, as we would be outside the whole day, the only indoor retreat being a port-a-loo. We split into two groups for the two activities of the day - litter picking at the local housing estate with Richard, and gardening with Jo.
My group went litter picking first. Armed with our litter pickers and rubbish bags, we marched out to work. Pickers were nipping litter out of just about everywhere. It soon became a heated competition, each person striving to collect more litter than the next. Some students asked me if they could do this as a summer job! It was great to see such enthusiasm from the students, who were reluctant to stop picking - even to have lunch! We returned to the others working hard in the garden, and stopped for some sandwiches.
After lunch the two groups switched, so my group experienced gardening. Initially it was difficult to find tasks to do because the group before lunch had done such an amazing job, but we soon got our hands dirty. Students had great fun uprooting the dead marrows, while others collected garlic chive seeds, watered plants, swept up leaves and hoed the patio. At the end of the day, Jo brought out a plant to nibble on, and shocked the students with its sweet leaves. It was a plant that artificial sweeteners are made from - a fact that fascinated some students, and us!
As the afternoon drew closed and the day grew cold, we said our thanks and goodbye to Grapes Hill, and its grapes, and headed back to school.
I've been so happy to hear about the students favourite parts of the day, because there is such variety.
Thank you to Grapes Hill Community Garden, from all of us at Yes Futures.
To find out more about how your students could get involved with projects like this, please contact Sophie, Impact Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org, 07908 687779.