A colourful garden featuring sensory plants and a prayer space has been created at Belleek Controlled Primary School involving the entire school community but also the Church of Ireland parishes from the Garrison group.
One of the driving forces behind the environmental project was the Revd Rebecca Guildea, Rector of the Garrison Group, who has children attending the school, who completed a series of sponsored runs over three months last year to raise part funding to be matched by the Church of Ireland Board of Education. As a result of the fundraising, Rebecca raised well in excess of the target, with £1,500 donated to towards the project.
The official opening of the garden took place on Tuesday, 26 September, when the ribbon was cut by local woman Sue Deacon, who had been assisting with garden design since the initial idea was suggested.
Also participating in the opening was the Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr John Ovens, as well as principal, Mrs Nicola Young, and the Revd Rebecca Guildea, who led the prayers.
Attending were teaching, administrative and ancillary staff as well as many of the pupils and their parents.
Mrs Young said the school was in a rural setting and the new garden replaced old redundant play equipment. The new resource would be used by teachers. She described it as a wonderful outdoor space and the plan going forward is to encourage the pupils with its maintenance.
Mr John Ovens said the Board of Education had earmarked a grant of £1,000 to be match–funded by the local community. But Rebecca jogged 160 miles over three months to raise over £1,500. It was her idea of a sensory garden.
Rebecca said there were a lot of challenges along the way but their trust was in God that it would be created. She thanked everyone getting involved with digging and moving soil and described it as a beautiful space for everyone to enjoy and to take care for.
Everyone was invited for refreshments afterwards.