On Monday 13th December, students at SMB College Group’s Stephenson Campus were excited to launch their allotment project in partnership with leading Construction company, Willmott Dixon.
Among attendants at the launch event were SMB College Group Principal, Dawn Whitemore, Victoria Musgrave and Cllr Ozzy O’Shea of Leicestershire County Council, and Zoe Anastasi, Simone Codrington and Stephen McDermott, of Willmott Dixon. They were joined by the college’s Foundation Learning, Level 1 Multi-trade, and Level 2 Painting & Decorating students, who all study at the Stephenson Campus.
The allotment project, which is a joint venture between the college’s Foundation and Construction students, aims to incorporate raised beds, planted borders, a graffiti wall, bird boxes and a sensory garden. The allotment will be fully accessible and will allow students to learn about sustainability, composting and rainwater collection, in addition to learning how to grow vegetables and other plants.
Currently in its initial planning stages, the Construction students will plan and build the allotment in the New Year, with help from the team at Willmott Dixon. They will utilise re-used and reclaimed materials as much as possible, ensuring that the core value of sustainability is embedded throughout the entire project. Once built, the Foundation Learning students will use the allotment to learn how to grow food, and will even have the opportunity use their own produce in their cooking lessons.
Leicestershire County Council have also endorsed the project, as they require the contractor for their Bardon Waste Transfer Station (Wilmott Dixon) to undertake a social value project.
Foundation Learning students, Tommy, Jeshua and Megan, said that they are looking forward to growing their own vegetables, and can’t wait to use the produce from the allotment in future cooking lessons.
SMB College Group’s Stephenson Campus, which is based in Coalville, offers a wide variety of technical and trade courses for students who hope to progress into careers in Construction or Engineering. In addition, the campus offers qualifications in Foundation Learning, Hair and Beauty, Health and Social Care, Early Years and Business.