HART BIOLOGICALS has helped to develop the young gardening talents of up to forty Hartlepool students, who were desperate to grow their own vegetables.

Pupils from years seven, eight and nine at Manor Community Academy, a number of whom have additional learning needs, were looking to build a greenhouse on their allotment.

To aid with funding Sandra Mockford, the specialist inclusion assistant at Manor, approached Alby Pattison, managing director of Hart Biologicals along with a number of other businesses.

Sandra, said: “As soon as we asked Alby he immediately gave us £250 for the greenhouse. He even went out and bought it for us and assembled it at the allotment without being asked.”

Frank Wilson who works as maintenance for Hart Biologicals, said: “Alby approached Ken and myself, and asked if we could help build the green house at the allotment”. As Alby does a lot for the community, and especially Manor School, we were only too willing to help.

“It’s so important for the kids to learn about food, where it comes from and also how to grow their own vegetables. It’s really great to see how much the kids benefit from it and learn skills they can use for the rest of their lives.”

Little green fingers

There are four groups of pupils from different years who attend the Allotment Garden with up to 10 pupils per group.

Sandra added: “Each pupil can choose which vegetables or flowers that they want to grow in their own area of the allotment garden. At the moment we have beans, garlic, onion, radishes, lettuce and potatoes.

“We’re also raising more money at the moment so we can buy caterpillars that will one day grow into Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies that will live in in the garden. This will allow the students to understand the life cycle involved in nature and help them appreciate how things are interconnected.

“It’s fantastic for the children. They all love it. It’s teaching them important life skills, confidence and it’s helping the group to work as a team.

“Because of the green house, all of the pupils who work within the allotment have achieved levels one and two in the Royal Horticultural Society Gardening for Schools Awards.

“By getting the greenhouse this has helped to achieve this and will help in working towards levels Three, Four and Five. We can’t thank Alby and Hart Biologicals enough.”

The pupils have already began planting their chosen vegetables, including Kalem, from year seven, who said: “I really like it. I think it’s a great way to look at nature and I can’t wait to take some of the vegetables and plants home to my family “