On Friday 11 September 2020, Emma Morrogh-Ryan, our new headteacher at Kemble Primary School, was delighted to learn that her application for a grant from WPA had been successful, commenting ‘This is fantastic news! We have been awarded £2,100 for the development of the Edible Playground. We are now really excited to get this project underway.’
Emma Morrogh-Ryan now plans to implement this scheme with the aid of the community around the school. The aim is to plan, develop and maintain an ‘Edible Playground’ within the grounds of the school. This will enable children to grow, tend to and harvest produce which they can use to create healthy meals and share with the wider community. We aim to use food growing to help develop healthy habits in children and get them excited about fruit and vegetables.
Emma explained her rationale for the project: ‘Especially in these difficult times it is vitally important to be aware of, and look after, children’s mental health and wellbeing. The Edible Playground will support us in meeting the needs of the children at Kemble Primary School. Gardening gives us a sense of responsibility and purpose and, as such, encourages feelings of self-worth. It is also fantastic exercise, releasing dopamine, serotonin and endorphins that make us feel good. The mindful nature of it also allows us to focus on the task at hand, living in the present moment rather than being distracted by potentially anxious or uncomfortable thoughts.’
Chiquita Henson, Chief Executive, signposted possible funding streams for new initiatives at The Corinium Education Trust’s fortnightly leadership group meetings. She is delighted by Emma’s early success: ‘This is a real coup for Emma, especially so, as she is only officially two weeks in post, and I am sure the project will create interest and promote curiosity as the new ‘vegetable garden’ grows!’
The WPA Benevolent Foundation promotes healthy activity amongst the young and, as a part of their Corporate Social Responsibility programme, they have been working with small rural primary schools across the UK. James Weaver, WPA Healthcare Practice Partner, was ‘pleased to confirm that the trustees have signed off on supporting the Edible Playground at Kemble Primary School’ and looks forward, as we all do, to seeing the project develop.