First class job!

The gardening team from Nowton Park Nursery in Bury St Edmunds have been doing a first-class job in the grounds of Harleston's Archbishop Sancroft High School.


That's the verdict of the secondary school which welcomed the six-strong gardening team from Nowton Park Nursery to the school recently to get a replanting scheme underway, in conjunction with Royal Horticultural Society's (RHS) community outreach adviser Alison Findlay.


The gardening team have been working hard digging up old shrubs and weeds in overgrown flower beds around the school, getting them ready for schoolchildren to get dug in and to start planting out a colourful show of summer plants.


Nowton Park Nursery's gardening team specialise in carrying out horticultural and garden maintenance work, and the nursery is run by social enterprise Realise Futures, supporting adults with disabilities and/or disadvantages. The team is volunteering their time to help at the school.


Teaching support assistant Frances Mott said: "The team are doing an amazing job. Once the weeds are cleared some of the children will be helping to plant some lovely summer flowers. We really want to make the school grounds look lovely.


"It's a great project for the children because it helps them gain self-confidence; it's outside in the fresh air and a change from being in the classroom because it's not a pure academic challenge."


Phil Ewing from Nowton Park Nursery said: "Our gardening team get a real sense of satisfaction from clearing up and creating something new, and we are happy to help. 


"We volunteer for these projects because we are community-minded and proud of what we stand for. As a social business, we are a commercial nursery that supports people with disabilities and/or disadvantages."


Alison Findlay, RHS community outreach advisor, said: "Phil from Realise Futures was the horticultural mentor for a team of students from Archbishop Sancroft High School who took part in a RHS school design challenge called The Green Plan It Challenge. 


"This project aims to show young people the importance of plants to people and places and to highlight that horticulture is a worthwhile career for young people today. It is great to see the design actually becoming a reality thanks to the hard work of Realise Futures and the students."


Nowton Park Nursery gardening team has previously helped clear grounds at Thurston College, and the garden of Bury's Citizens Advice in Risbygate Street.


The team helps grow plants for sale at the nursery, including flowers for commercial businesses and for window box displays such as The Angel Hotel in Bury St Edmunds.


Realise Futures is a specialist provider of employment support services, learning and development in Suffolk and Essex, and offers employment and work experience at its social businesses in Suffolk. 


For further information, please contact:

Realise Futures  

Jane Sutton  

Business Systems & Compliance Manager  

07738 704775