Dulwich Children To Reap The Health Benefits of Gardening

Friday 27 June 2014

National Charities funding school and community allotment

A Dulwich school is celebrating after receiving funds from the National Gardens Scheme (NGS) and Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) to support the creation of a much needed green space for children to learn about the health benefits of fresh food by growing their own.

The new allotment, which was made possible by a bursary of more than £2,000 from the gardening charities, will give Dulwich Wood Primary School the chance to embed gardening into the school timetable.
The school hopes that by bringing pupils closer to nature they will develop a greater understanding of food production, increase their environmental awareness and learn how to lead healthier lives.

The Elspeth Thompson Bursary, which was named after a celebrated garden writer who died in 2010, will be used to buy materials for four large raised beds and a freestanding greenhouse, which will allow pupils to continue to grow food throughout the year.

The completion of the project will be marked by the unveiling of a special commemorative plaque to acknowledge the work done by the school and celebrate the legacy of Elspeth Thompson.

Olivia Greenaway, Outdoor Environment Leader at the school, said: “It’s been great having this bursary to kick start growing at our school. Children as young as 4 are out there getting their hands dirty and bursting with excitement as they grow their own food. With all these growing beds and the chickens we keep it’s starting to look like the countryside has come to Dulwich!”

Jim Gardiner, Executive Vice-President at the RHS, said: “The RHS exists to share the great benefits of gardens and gardening with people of all ages and backgrounds. Projects that help inspire young people to develop a passion for horticulture and bring communities together are at the heart of the Society.”

Penny Snell, Chairman of the National Gardens Scheme, said: “The Elspeth Thompson Bursaries aim to support community projects and include diverse sections of society through horticulture and a community effort. Community gardening was very close to Elspeth's heart and we are delighted to be able to provide these bursaries in her name in partnership with the RHS."

The RHS actively involves more than 19,000 schools across the UK in growing and gardening through its Campaign for School Gardening. Through gardening children learn about healthy fruit and vegetables, wildlife and important life skills such as teamwork, social skills and co-operation. Huge benefits are to be had from using an outdoor classroom where children can learn in a fun, engaging way.


Notes to editors

To request an application form for the NGS Elspeth Thompson Bursary please contact Lizanne Gomez, RHS Bursaries Manager at ngsbursary@rhs.org.uk  or call on 01483 479719.

Applications for the bursary are administered by the RHS and must be submitted by 31 December 2014.
For more information, please contact Hattie Sherwood in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3126 or email hattiesherwood@rhs.org.uk

*RHS Britain in Bloom: Transforming local communities is an Impact Report released in 2010 that looks at the power of community gardening in bringing people together: http://www.rhs.org.uk/Gardening/Community-gardening/pdf/Britain-in-Bloom-Impact-Report  


About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood for the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture. We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, our flagship garden, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity.

Today the RHS is committed to providing a voice for all gardeners. We are driven by a simple love of plants and a belief that gardeners make the world a better place. 210 years on we continue to safeguard and advance the science, art and practice of horticulture, creating displays that inspire people to garden. In all aspects of our work we help gardeners develop by sharing our knowledge of plants, gardens and the environment.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join  

About the National Gardens Scheme
The National Gardens Scheme’s Elspeth Thompson Bursary Fund was created in 2011 in memory of Elspeth who was passionate about the role that community gardens could play in people’s lives.
Founded in 1927, The National Gardens Scheme (NGS) has donated more than £22 million to charity in the last ten years.
Registered Charity No. 1112664


Latest press releases

About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262