SWANSEA City ambassador Lee Trundle officially opened Birchgrove Comprehensive School’s new outdoor learning area for children with special needs following a makeover by the Edenstone Foundation.
What was an overgrown redundant quadrant, has been transformed into a fun outdoor learning space. The scheme won the community project category of the Wales Online Property Awards following a public vote.
Sponsorship from a Three Welsh Peaks challenge, undertaken by Edenstone Group staff, part-funded the project. Contractors and suppliers backed the initiative, with the Edenstone Foundation financing the remainder of the £10,000 scheme and volunteers carrying out the work over the summer holidays.
Lee said: “It was great to have the honour of opening the outdoor learning area. It’s a lovely space and I’m sure the pupils will really enjoy using it. The work done by the Edenstone Foundation and all those who helped to bring the learning area to life is commendable and the award is very well deserved!”
Headteacher Andrew Owen said: “We are ever so grateful to the Edenstone Foundation for helping transform this underused area of the school grounds. The difference is amazing – they’ve created a beautiful garden, full of fun activities for pupils to enjoy. Pupils have already helped with some finishing touches and are excited about growing different things in the garden over the coming months.
“The new space includes a banner of the Liberty Stadium and so it was fitting that Lee Trundle was the VIP guest at the official opening. It was a great opportunity for pupils to test out the pitch area by playing football with him.”
Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Education Improvement, Learning and Skills, said: “The specialist teaching facility at Birchgrove Comprehensive has made a real difference for pupils since it opened two years ago and the new outdoor learning area will further improve opportunities for pupils. I would like to thank the Edenstone Foundation and their supporters for creating the garden.”
The school was nominated by Edenstone Group build director Mike Huddleston, whose son has autism and attends Birchgrove.
Mike said: “Staff, contractors and suppliers really embraced the challenge. We had around 30 people donate their time to help, including directors. We filled 14 skips with weeds, old brickwork and paving before setting to work to install a decking stage where students can perform; sensory and fruit gardens where they can grow herbs, food and plants; astro turf area and basketball nets for sport; traversing wall and shop. It’s been a really rewarding project to be involved in and the reaction from staff and students certainly made it worthwhile. Winning the community project category of the Wales Online Property Awards was the icing on the cake.”
The Edenstone Foundation would like to thank Ashgrove Groundworkers, Keyline Imperial Brickwork, Coombs Construction, Celtic landscapes (Dean Oliver), Castle Carpentry , Waste Pro, Grj, Whiterock, Dab Hand signs, Bridgend Brick, Compton Steel, Edenstone staff, Swansea City AFC and Lee Trundle for their support with the project.