Work continues on the charity InterAct Aspire Garden

January 2016

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

Horticultural students from Writtle College have continued to work hard on building a special garden for young people with Autism, learning difficulties and special needs.

The project, which was launched in August 2015, is for the Chelmsford-based charity InterAct.

Scott Downes and Sam Moore, who were part of the College’s ‘Young Gardeners of the Year’ winning team at the Ideal Home Show 2015, along with fellow student Tom Brindle, have designed the garden for InterAct’s Aspire Centre at Moulsham Mill, Chelmsford, which is being built in partnership with GRAHAM Construction.

The garden will give young people at the centre a place to socialise, relax, develop their skills and confidence, as well as enabling them to get involved in gardening, which is known to have a therapeutic effect, in a way that will cater for their different abilities.

In October, three Year 2 Horticulture Degree students - Michelle Fisher, from Norwich; George Laws from Folkestone and Melissa Griffiths, from Chesham - also joined the project.

George commented: “After Scott told us about the project it was a ‘no-brainer’ to get involved. It’s a great project, and I look forward to helping deliver a great garden area for the charity.”

Over the past few months, the Writtle team, together with the volunteers and gardening club at InterAct, have been working hard to clear the overgrown site to allow construction to start. They have been supported by local horticulture company, County Garden Management, which provided tools to help with some much needed tree surgery, whilst the GoodGym running group spent time clearing, digging and planting Tulip bulbs (donated by the College).

Tom added: “With everyone’s efforts, things are really starting to move forward now. The construction elements of the vegetable garden and ‘woodland’ walk are nearing completion, and this will allow us to move our focus on to the wildlife area which we have some exciting ideas about. We’ve still got a lot more to do, but with the enlarged team, and the ongoing support of GRAHAM Construction and the team at InterAct, we are looking forward to bringing our initial ideas to reality in 2016.”

The garden is being constructed with surplus or donated materials and the team are still trying to source the following items:

- Fence Panels - 12x 1m square panels, with concrete gravel boards or similar

- Bricks (new or reclaimed for pathways)

- Railway sleepers

- Slabs - 600mm square – 200 & 300mm square - 32 Black, 32 white

- 4 x 2 treated timber – 20 x 3.6m lengths

- 2 x 2 treated timber – 20 x 3.6m lengths

- 100 Reclaimed Slate tiles

- Top Soil - 5 cubic metres

If you have any surplus stock and can make a donation, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Team.