Sunderland pupils at Farringdon Academy dig in for Gentoo garden prize

Pupils visit the garden twice a week after school as well as during lessons.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Green-fingered students from a Sunderland school have produced a blooming great show.

Pupils from Farringdon Community Academy have received the top prize in Gentoo’s annual ‘Ready, Set, Grow’ gardening competition. 

Students from Farringdon Community Academy with (L-R) Gail Parr, Teacher at Farringdon Community Academy, Dave Rogers, Estate Supervisor at Gentoo, Alan Gordon, Neighbourhood Coordinator at Gentoo, Louise Bassett, Chief Executive Officer at Gentoo, Mandy Lowther, Customer Care Manager at Esh Construction and Simon Scott, Construction Manager at Esh Construction. Students from Farringdon Community Academy with (L-R) Gail Parr, Teacher at Farringdon Community Academy, Dave Rogers, Estate Supervisor at Gentoo, Alan Gordon, Neighbourhood Coordinator at Gentoo, Louise Bassett, Chief Executive Officer at Gentoo, Mandy Lowther, Customer Care Manager at Esh Construction and Simon Scott, Construction Manager at Esh Construction.
Students from Farringdon Community Academy with (L-R) Gail Parr, Teacher at Farringdon Community Academy, Dave Rogers, Estate Supervisor at Gentoo, Alan Gordon, Neighbourhood Coordinator at Gentoo, Louise Bassett, Chief Executive Officer at Gentoo, Mandy Lowther, Customer Care Manager at Esh Construction and Simon Scott, Construction Manager at Esh Construction.
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The academy was awarded Best School Garden in the Best Community/School Garden category, sponsored by ESH Construction, for its dedication to encouraging young people to take an interest in gardening and their efforts towards helping the environment.

A garden in the school grounds, features fruit and vegetable patches, a wildlife pond created out of an old tyre, and a variety of plants to encourage bees, butterflies and creatures. Students visit twice a week after school and they also as part of their curriculum. 

The students and teacher Gail Parr were awarded a customised trophy, certificate, and £200 worth of vouchers to be used to continue to improve their garden. 

Gentoo chief executive Louise Bassett said: "Our annual gardening competition provides a great opportunity to shine a light on the hard work and dedication of local residents and children. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"It was lovely to visit Farringdon Community Academy and see the beautiful garden the children have created.

"It’s brilliant to see local schools encouraging children to take up gardening and take pride in their outdoor spaces. It is clear the students at Farringdon are passionate about gardening and the environment making their award win very well deserved."

Gail Parr saidthechildren were 'over the moon' to win: "I’m so proud and delighted that their hard work has been recognised.

"The students work in the garden two times a week after school. The gardening group allows them to make friends, be social around other people and feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement when they see what they have grown."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The judging panel, made up of keen gardeners from Gentoo and a representative from Esh Construction, enjoyed a personal guided tour of the garden by the children and had the added bonus of sampling some of the fruit and vegetable produce and the odd gardening themed joke!

Simon Scott, Construction Manager at Esh Construction, said: "It was a pleasure to visit Farringdon Community Academy and commend all those involved in creating such a wonderful outdoor space that will not only provide a place to learn practical gardening skills, but also a calming space that will encourage mindfulness and reflection within nature.

"I was so impressed with the students’ enthusiasm and the pride they had in their work – we were even given some freshly grown produce to taste. A big well done to all involved from Esh Construction."

Now in its seventh year, the city-wide ‘Ready, Set, Grow’ competition encourages tenants, local schools and community groups to showcase their gardening talent.

The annual competition launches in Spring each year and is announced via Gentoo's social media channels.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.