Coastal college students up for global award for wellbeing garden project

East Coast College Enterprise students who have been nominated for a global Roots and Shoots award, pictured with staff.

East Coast College Enterprise students who have been nominated for a global Roots and Shoots award, pictured with staff. - Credit: East Coast College

Students from a coastal college are in the running for a global award in recognition of their work to develop a wellbeing garden and make a difference to our planet for people and animals.

The Foundation and Progression Enterprise students started work on a wellbeing garden at East Coast College’s Lowestoft campus during lockdown.

In May they were awarded a Gold Roots and Shoots award by Dr Jane Goodall, renowned ethologist and conservationist.

So far they have planted fruit trees, lavender, echinacea and buddleia plants, and they now plan to install a water feature and upcycle a table and chairs.

The students also grew and sold their own plants to the college community and recycled plastic bottles to make birdfeeders.

The group attended a virtual awards ceremony where Dr Jane spoke about the positive changes they had made and were presented with a trophy, signed book and Dr Jane’s signature chimpanzee, Mr H Cuddly.

To mark the 30th anniversary of Roots and Shoots, it was decided to celebrate the hard work of so many people all over the world with the Global Awards 2021.

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Sarah Guymer, foundation and enterprise lecturer, said: “We were delighted to win the gold award, and then I got a phone call to say we had been nominated for the global awards too.

"It was a huge surprise but a wonderful phone call to receive.

“My students love working on the garden and selling their plants.

"I’m really proud of the work they have done - we’re keeping our fingers crossed!

“The idea of the garden is to give people a place to sit and relax, listen to the sounds of the water and enjoy a bit of fruit from the garden that our students have grown.”

The students have been nominated for the global award in the ‘Connect the Change’ category, developed by the United States branch of Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots.

Enterprise student Bradley said: “I’ve really enjoyed planting so many different things and we’re really excited for the awards ceremony.”

Robert added: “I’ve been digging lots of holes and watering the plants in which has been good fun.”

Judging will now take place and the global awards will be celebrated during a virtual ceremony in November.

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