In association with the Blue School, Wells, the PTA (The Friends of the Blue Association Trust) raises funds that contribute to the school and its pupils’ enrichment. Lorraine Millington told us how a recent grant from the Somerset Fund for £1,500 will help them improve their conservation area, which will enhance the students' experience at the school both now and for future generations to come.
"Earlier in the year, before the pandemic, we asked the pupils what they felt was the most pressing current need of the time and conservation was number one. This passion was shared by both the pupils and the staff at the school. There has been little in the way of enrichment activities off-site and outside of the school since lockdown, so we were delighted that the funding gave us the opportunity to work together and help us to redesign and refurbish the conservation area at the school.
It was important to the pupils that we made sure the area is accessible to all. Our projects also include increasing biodiversity by planting bee-friendly plants, climbers, more trees in the orchard fields, bird feeders, an installation of a clay pond, raised beds, and the refurbishment of the polytunnel, which has seen better days. The fruit from the existing fruit trees is often made into apple juice for the local care home for the elderly and the community centre for the homeless.
Following lockdown this year, it has been good for the pupils’ mental health to be outdoors, and to take part in activities and projects where the emphasis is less academic.
All of these improvements and activities make an enormous difference to the children's opportunities. The enrichment programme is open to all students, offering a broader experience and much-needed support, especially for the more vulnerable individuals.
Due to the pandemic we’ve seen a significant loss in our usual fundraising this year, so we’re very grateful for the grant from The Somerset Fund.
There are so many good things that will come out of this funding. It really has been the icing on the cake for us.”