On Thursday 9th of May 14 students and 4 Yes Futures Coaches from Ratton School spent their Play Your Part day with Edible Eastbourne at the Historic Langney Priory.
We began our day meeting at school where we had a quick briefing and the students all had a go at setting themselves a personal goal for the day. Once we were all happy with our goals we jumped onto the school minibus and hot footed it 15 minutes up the road to Langney Priory.
Upon arrival we were met by Sara and her team, Freya and Karen, who all volunteer for Edible Eastbourne. They swiftly lead us up to the historic house where we gathered together in their gardens for Sara our host to tell us a little more about what Edible Eastbourne does and what they do for the community. Sara explained that Edible Eastbourne is a local community gardening group that brings together community members from the Eastbourne area and that their aim is to help Eastbourne develop a resilient, sustainable local food system by setting up community growing spaces, orchards and local food projects. Sara then tasked us with some different activities that we would do throughout the day.
The students were split into two groups of 7 and each group was set up with a task to get started on.
One half of the students took on the challenge of clearing two flower beds that were full of overgrown weeds so that we could make the flower bed ready to be planted up with new flowers and vegetables.
With the other half of students taking on the task of working in smaller groups making seed bombs out of clay and soil ready to be sown around the historic site. Whilst some spent time thinning out some kale seedlings and planting some peas, some students took some quiet time to create some drawings of some of the flowers in the gardens.
After a good hour of hard work we had a quick break to get ourselves re hydrated and re fuelled and after about 15 minutes we were all ready to get to work again. This time the two groups swapped activities. The first group then had a go at making up some more seed bombs whilst the second group continued the previous groups work of readying the flowerbeds to be planted up. They worked hard at clearing out the remaining roots, raking the ground level and began putting a top layer of manure onto the flower beds. They all worked very well at supporting each other and demonstrating some excellent teamwork to get the task done.
After Lunch half of the students got their hands dirty once more and began planting up the two beds. One with Marigolds and a range of different vegetables and the second with a variety of potatoes. For the potato bed we had dig some trenches to put the potatoes in. We then covered the potatoes over with soil and added a top layer of manure. The students took their initiative to create a production chain with some being diggers of the trenches, some as planters, some to dig the soil back over and add the manure. It was fabulous to see just how efficient the team was at working together.
The other half of the group got the chance to explore a little more of the grounds and learnt about what types of plants were growing on site. They also had the opportunity to explore the historic house and grounds further in a game of Hide and Seek!
Once back at school, we spent the final 20 minutes of the day reflecting on the Talents students had used and what they’d learnt. Many shared that they had a great day and learnt a lot from Sara, Freya and Karen. All of them had achieved their goals that they had set at the start of the day and felt very proud of what they had achieved.
A huge thank you to Sara and her team at Edible Eastbourne for hosting us for our Play Your Part day, we had a great time getting our hand dirty!
To find out more about how your students could get involved with the Yes Futures Programmes, please contact Sophie, Impact Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org, 07908 687779 or visit our website.
If you're interested in becoming a Play Your Part partner, please contact Helena, Head of Programmes: email@example.com.