Primary children in dig for victory

15th September 2006 at 01:00
A community garden being developed by primary school pupils has won a prize before it is even finished. Children at Hafod primary, Swansea, are turning an area of waste ground next to their school into a garden for all to enjoy.

It is one of 37 projects that will receive an award at a ceremony at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff next Monday.

The school will receive an "impetus award" aimed at promoting human rights and active citizenship. The scheme is jointly organised in Wales by Community Service Volunteers and the Institute for Global Ethics.

Work on the garden at Hafod is well under way. The ground has been fenced off and the garden will have two gates - one from the school and the other from the community. It will be open for shared use during the day.

Funding has come from Renewal, a regeneration project in Hafod. Headteacher Rachel Webb said: "The fence cost about pound;20,000 and we will probably spend another pound;5,000 on decking, seats and planted areas. It will have a sensory element and will be accessible to the disabled."

The heavy work will be carried out by contractors and the children have been planting flowers and digging. "We want them to be hands-on so that they feel that they have created the garden and that they must look after it," said Ms Webb. "We are setting up a gardening club and are hoping that members of the community will help us with maintenance."

The school has also commissioned two large murals for the area. One will depict a globe with children linking hands and the other will be of the school's mission statement, chosen by the children; Learning, Laughing and Living Together. The children have designed the murals.

"We have an active parent-teacher association and the school is now becoming more central to the community," said Ms Webb. "Half of our children have English as a second language and 45 per cent are of Bangladeshi origin, so it's important to find the things that bind people together. Strong community spirit is one of those."

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