Grantham infant school pupils rescue elderly residents’ garden

Little Gonerby Infant School pupils and residents of Harrowby Lodge Nursing Home.
Little Gonerby Infant School pupils and residents of Harrowby Lodge Nursing Home.

Deputy mayor Councillor Lynda Coutts joined staff and residents at Harrowby Lodge Nursing Home, in Harrowby Lane, for the official opening of their garden last week, after local schoolchildren gave it a long-awaited makeover.

Residents at Harrowby Lodge wrote to Year 1 children at Little Gonerby Infant School to ask for their help in revamping their patio area ahead of their summer fete next month.

Since then, the children and the Year 1 team have been working hard on planning their garden designs and have visited the nursing home to share and critique their designs with the residents.

Year 1 teacher Sarah Marsden has enjoyed watching the interaction between the children and residents. She said: “To continue with our ‘inspiration’ themed project, we received a letter from the staff and residents at Harrowby Lodge asking for their help. The children spent the term planning, talking to the residents and designing garden items such as painting colourful plant pots, eye catching sun catchers and bird feeders, which they placed and hung around the garden.”

Harrowby Lodge events co-ordinator Suzanne Cammies was pleased with how well the children and residents worked together.

She said: “The children learned a lot from their visits. At first their ideas included a jacuzzi and a trampoline but after speaking to the residents, they came up with ideas more suited to their needs.

“As some residents explained that their eyesights were not as they once were, the children made sure they used really bright paint colours.”

The garden has proved a huge hit. Resident Pauline said: “It’s fantastic.”

To thank them for their efforts, the children helped to host the official opening last Thursday, where they entertained the guests with two songs that they had learned especially for the day.

Mrs Marsden added: “It was a great community project bringing together old and young.

“This is not the end of the project and we hope to stay in touch with the home and continue to visit and work with them in the future.”

Coun Coutts opened the garden. She said: “What a lovely home with many happy friends. The children were fabulous and very well behaved. I throughly enjoyed their lovely singing and all the happy faces.”