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New Community Allotment at Wymondham High Academy

James Michie Published: 24 November 2023

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Children at allotment

With the start of the new school year, we see new and old students returning to Wymondham High School to continue their academic studies. Students’ return to school brings the ever-increasing pressures of school life, with tougher academic studies, higher work expectations and responsibilities, all of which make England’s teenagers experience the third-highest rate of pressure from schoolwork out of 45 countries, according to a World Health Organisation Study. (TES, 19/05/2020)

Therefore, this year we are offering more Extra-Curricular Activities than ever before and are very excited to announce that from September we have been working with the local educational charity The Papillon Project, who are supporting students with creating and developing a new school allotment. Our ambition is shared with the charity, to support and improve mental wellbeing, to inspire young people to grow their own food and be taught crucial and highly valuable life skills.

Kids at allotment

As part of our allotment project a new club has been formed with the help from our first 10 student allotment champions who will be meeting on a weekly basis in school and getting their hands dirty creating the initial layout of the allotment with Matt Willer from The Papillon Project. Students' first session with Matt saw them laying out the first growing beds, building a compost site out of pallets, and making a Pallet bench to relax on while having a break. While the allotment is the clubs initial focus, students do have future plans to create a herb garden near the food tech, wildflower areas and a wellbeing garden.

The Charity has worked successfully with many schools around Norfolk and hopefully with the support from staff, parents, and the local community we can also be one of their success stories.

Kids at allotment

With the above in mind, students have named the allotment project “Wymondham High Academy Community Allotment” (WHACA).

We are off to a good start with The FRIENDS of Wymondham High School supporting the project with a donation, which will go toward a new Polytunnel, Wymondham Plotters have kindly dropped over packs of seeds, and we have a large selection of trees coming from the Woodland Trust.

Some exposed soil
The area before work began.

However, we still require basic equipment and supplies and we were hoping that anyone who has anything that is no longer required may wish to donate to the allotment project.

Items we are looking for are: shovels, Shovel/spades, garden forks, rake, watering cans, pruning shears, garden trowels, hoe, wheelbarrow, wellies, gloves, seeds, compost.

Any donations can be left at the Site Team & DofE office which is in the Bungalow next to the North Gate on Folly Road.

For more information about the allotment project please email allotment@wh-at.net and for The Papillon Project visit www.thepapillonproject.com.

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