University of Sunderland opens new Veterans' Garden at City Campus

Sunderland University has paid tribute to men and women who have served their country with the opening of a new Veterans’ Garden.

By Kevin Clark
Friday, 20th May 2022, 3:45 pm

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The university is a holder of the Armed Forces Covenant Gold Award and is committed to ensuring any service personnel wishing to study for a degree or other qualification get the help they need to do so.

There are 114 students with connections to the armed services undertaking programmes, including undergraduate and postgraduate courses, foundation programmes, independent learners, and apprenticeships.

University Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Sir David Bell said he hoped the garden would be popular with personnel past and present as well as students and staff: “I am delighted that the University will be home to the new Sunderland Veterans’ Garden.

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“It recognises the contribution that the men and women of Sunderland have made to the armed services over the generations. It also highlights the continuing excellent partnership working between the University and all branches of the services.

“I hope therefore that the garden will be enjoyed by students, staff, veterans and visitors in the months and years to come.”

The garden was opened by retired Major General Paul Nanson CB CBE, who served in the British Army as Commander 7th Armoured Brigade, Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and General Officer Commanding Recruiting and Initial Training Command: "This project will provide a lasting tribute to those women and men who did, and who still do, give themselves in the service of Monarch and Country,” he said.

“Hopefully, the garden will be a place, not only for remembrance, but also for celebrating the enormous and continuing contribution made by the people of Sunderland in support of our armed forces.”

(from left) Consort David Smith, Mayor Elect Coun Alison Smith, Sir David Bell, Lord Lieutenant Ms Lucy Winskell OBE and Ret Major General Paul Nanson

As well as the opening of the garden, two trees were also planted during the ceremony – one by the new Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Lucy Winskell OBE to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the other by Mayor-Elect of Sunderland Coun Alison Smith, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the university’s creation.

The garden, located on the site of the former Johnson Building at City campus, uses a range of recycled materials in its construction.

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Armed forces personnel at the ceremony
Sir David Bell addresses the crowd
The new Veterans' Garden