Children and staff at Uplands Special School in North Swindon have celebrated the first year since their memorial garden was opened.
The garden was created to commemorate the lives of pupils Grant Younger, Connor Hewitt, Perry Harris and Celina Martin who died in early 2010, and Jessica Michaels who passed away in January 2011.
The £10,000 project was built with a lot of volunteer help from companies like Zurich and parent working parties. Link advertiser Jill Blackwood contributed her time to design the site which contains a sculpture by Gordon Dickinson representing two friends supporting each other.
Headteacher Jackie Smith said: “The garden has been an area for contemplation, for both pupils, and staff. This year about ten staff have experienced bereavement; it has been a place of solace for them.”
Ms Smith said the garden will now become an outdoor classroom for older children attending Uplands. She explained: “Our numbers are increasing to 110 with a new building opening in September. It’s a product of Swindon’s growing population and the fact that children with disabilities are enjoying a longer quality of life.
“We are developing curriculum and work pathways for 16 to 19 year olds and learning horticultural skills will be part of the programme.”
Pictured: Jackie Smith, front, with Uplands children and teaching assistants Mandy Cockley and Emma Lound