Sunderland school digs in to show its support for St Benedict’s Hospice

A project which is bringing together a Sunderland school and St Benedict’s Hospice has taken root with the launch of a project to make their community green and clean.

Friday, 22nd March 2019, 05:00 am
Lewis Wooton and Lola Hughes from St Patrick's School plant their trees in the grounds of St Benedict's Hospice in Ryhope.

St Patrick’s RC Primary, in Ryhope, is working towards the Woodland Trust’s Green Tree School award and has been gifted 420 saplings to plant in its neighbourhood.

Its reception class and its year 3 children visited the hospice to plant 120 of the trees in the grounds, putting them in spots along the fence to create a new environment for people staying and visiting.

Benedict Bear joins pupils and staff from St Patrick's Primary School as they start to plant trees in the grounds of St Benedict's Hospice.

The remainder of the trees, which are a mix of species, will be used for the same purpose in the school’s grounds, in Smith Street.

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Caroline Fairrington, the school’s business manager, said: “They found it hard work, but they really enjoyed it.
“Reception went in a minibus and the year 3 walked down, which added to their adventure.

“They got to meet Benedict Bear, the hospice’s mascot.

“There’s a science and conservation side to it, but it’s also getting them involved in their community.

Maggie Moore from St Patrick's School getting set to plant her tree in the grounds of St Benedict's Hospice.

“We’ve had a number of families who have experiences of using it and we’ve had members of staff who have also used the hospice.

“Phase two is planting on our own school field to put the saplings along the fence and other year groups will be able to get involved.”

The hospice is appealing for help from a volunteer gardener to help tidy up its pots.

Anyone who would like to help can email

Rebecca Harte works with Benedict Bear to plant a sapling.